CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

October 12, 2014

God’s Creation: Is It Disgusting?

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

GOD’S CREATION:

IS IT DISGUSTING?

NOTE: This devotion was entered in a devotional writing competition at a conference. The judges didn’t know how to handle it because the content and the style weren’t in the typical format. One judge pulled me aside to tell me that the committee members were befuddled and didn’t know how to respond to this devotion. She ended by saying I should know and write to my audience.

I remained quiet while she explained the situation to me. When she finished  I explained myself.

“I did consider my audience. I was writing to a reader who studied science: biology, chemistry. This audience wants references (she’d told me devotions shouldn’t include references). Typical devotions aren’t written to this audience, so I thought I’d try writing several for this purpose.”

I don’t know if the judge was mollified, but I stand by the option to write devotions that speak to specific audiences.

Let me know what you think.

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SCRIPTURE: Genesis 1:27     God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (NI)

   Related Scripture: Psalm 139:13-14  I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. (KJV)

REFLECTION:   Although God created a wonderful being, the human, I’ve found that a built in life-saving technique may be—is—unpalatable for most people. It has to do with what we consider human waste.

Human waste, urine, not only stops infection when applied to wounds, but it can also be recycled as a re-hydration beverage.

“Disgusting,” you say.

But be patient. Release your prejudice and bias, if only for the moment it takes you to finish this devotion.

“There are many survival stories where people saved and drank their own urine to (more…)

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October 11, 2014

Dreamy Relationships Photographed

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

DREAMY RELATIONSHIPS

CAPTURED IN PHOTOGRAPHS

Reach for your dreams...

Reach for your dreams…

The WordPress weekly photo challenge for October 10, 2014, is dreamy.

Below are photos of dreamy relationships.

Lena and Mike reached for their dream

Lena and Mike reached for their dream

Jordan's dreamy expression...love those dogs.

Jordan’s dreamy expression…you gotta love those dogs.

(more…)

October 9, 2014

11 Facts About Hallow’een & Jack-O-Lanterns

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

11 FACTS ABOUT HALLOW’EEN AND JACK-O-LANTERNS

First, find the perfect pumpkin...

First, find the perfect pumpkin…

  1. How were Jack-O-Lanterns made in the British Isles?
  2. Immigrants from what country brought the Jack-O-Lantern tradition to America?
  3. Who was Stingy Jack?
  4. The Guinness World Record for the most simultaneously lit Jack-O-Lanterns occurred in 2011 in ____________ and included ________ carved pumpkins?
  5. What was the medieval tradition of souling?
  6. How were Jack-O-Lanterns made in the British Isles?
  7. What various names have Jack-O-Lanterns been called?
  8. When did Jack-O-Lanterns change from being just a trick to being a seasonal decorating standard?
  9. What was the medieval tradition of souling?
  10. What popular comic strip can be credited with the popular spread of trick or treating as we know it nationwide today?

BONUS QUESTION

What is behind the Jack O’Lantern legend featuring a man named Stingy Jack?

Second, carve that pumpkin...

Second, carve that pumpkin…

To learn the answers click on MORE

(more…)

October 7, 2014

Traveling on a Greyhound Bus with Children

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

TRAVELING CROSS COUNTRY ON A GREYHOUND BUS

(WITH TWO SMALL CHILDREN)

Our trip of a lifetime almost didn’t happen. You’ll understand after reading about its first two laps.

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In 1974 my husband Monte received a grant to attend an energy conference in Berkeley, California. Our children, Sandy 4 and Nolan 2, stayed in Slippery Rock with me for the first five weeks. In the sixth week we traveled to California, from where the four of us would travel back to Slippery Rock.

Our mode of transportation — Greyhound bus, which offered a 30-day Ameripass ticket for $50, entitling purchasers to unlimited riding to any destination served by the company.

Shirl, Diane, Nolan & Sandy (l-r)

Shirl, Diane, Nolan & Sandy (l-r)

Our good friend Shirl Murray drove us from our Slippery Rock home to the bus station , which was an hour away in Youngstown, Ohio. We made it with time to spare. The kids waited anxiously for “their” bus to arrive, then waited in line to board. A youngish man wearing the Greyhound uniform punched our ticket.

It was a cross country bus, so we settled in for our long journey. The passengers were a mix of humanity. A young couple and an elderly man seated themselves up front. Several teenagers seated themselves in the back of the bus. A frail woman sat in the middle. Most of the seats were filled with passengers boarding in towns the bus drove through en route from New York City to Youngstown.

The driver boarded, set his briefcase on the floor, situated himself in the driver’s seat, and shut the door. Suddenly the bus engine purred and he skillfully backed out of the parking place. All was well in the small community encased in what only can be described as an oversized tuna can.

The kids occupied themselves watching the Ohio country speed by while I arranged their things so they could entertain themselves when they tired of the scenery.

I sat back in my seat and pulled out a magazine, hoping I could finish an article before the kids needed me. The animated conversation interspersed with laughter coming from the young girls provided a pleasant backdrop.

At first I didn’t notice the frail woman, several rows down, but gradually her under-breath muttering pierced (more…)

October 5, 2014

11 Facts About Pumpkins

Carolyn’s compositions

11 FACTS ABOUT PUMPKINS

Watch for upcoming quiz on jackolanterns…

Hubby Monte

Hubby Monte

Ahh, autumn, a season of holidays which feature the pumpkin—be they the traditional orange or yellow, white, green or red^^ The traditional American pumpkin is the Connecticut field variety.*

But what is a pumpkin? It is a squash, is a member of the Cucurbita family which includes squash, cucumbers,*** honeydew melons, cantaloupe, watermelons and zucchini. **

Autumn is the season when my husband, Monte, becomes enthused about making pumpkin pies, filling our home with the sweet odor of cooked pumpkin.

We don’t suffer the hardships the Pilgrims suffered when arriving on the shores of the New World. One 1630 Pilgrim described his hardships as follows (1630):

“For pottage and puddings and custard and pies,
 Our pumpkins and parsnips are common supplies:
 We have pumpkins at morning and pumpkins at noon,
 If it were not for pumpkins, we should be undoon.”****

What do you know about pumpkins? Below are 10 questions plus a bonus question. Answers are on the next page.

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QUESTIONS

  1. Name the only continent that cannot grow pumpkins.
  2. Why do some people think that the pumpkin should be our national fruit?
  3. Where did the pumpkin plant originate?
  4. Where is the self-proclaimed pumpkin capital of the world? Why there?
  5. How many pounds of pumpkin are produced in the United States every year?
  6. In early colonial times how did the colonists make the original pumpkin pie?
  7. What is the origin of the name “pumpkin?” What did Native Americans call them?
  8. What is the water content of pumpkins, and how many calories of energy does 100 grams produce, and what is its dietary benefit?
  9. How big was the largest pumpkin pie ever made, how much did it weigh, and how long did it take to bake?
  10. Giant pumpkins are often grown for competitions. The heaviest pumpkin on record weighed  __________; the largest “official” pumpkin on record weighed ________,

BONUS QUESTION

The largest pumpkin pie used ____ pounds of cooked pumpkin, ____ pounds of sugar, and ____ dozen eggs.

131002 IMG_8214E

To learn the answers click on MORE

(more…)

October 4, 2014

View New England By Its Signs

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

SIGNS FOUND IN NEW ENGLAND

The WordPress photo challenge for October 3, 2014, is signs.

To read the story behind the sign click on the link with the photo.

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Connecticut

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Massachusetts:

Photos of Cherished Relics

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Pine Grove Cemetery, Hampton, NH c. 1654:

Surfing at Hampton Beach (N. H.) With Hurricane Irene

(more…)

October 2, 2014

Remembering Ellsworth & Lamoine, Maine

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

REMEMBERING ELLSWORTH AND LAMOINE, MAINE

I’ve said this in previous writings: the most common question my husband Monte and I are asked about our autumn trips to New England is: Are you going to leaf peep? Certainly New England puts on a great display of brilliant fall leaves, but I can vouch that the hills of Southwestern Pennsylvania matches their splendor. No, we don’t go to leaf peep. We much prefer ocean viewing.

We were completing our 2013 travel to New England as September rolled over into October. On our return home—driving across New England into New York and south to Pennsylvania—some trees gave us a sneak peak of grandiose leaves, but we were traveling before they peaked. Thus, we enjoyed being inadvertent leaf peepers, viewing what many tourists drive to New England to do: enjoy autumn’s march from summer into winter.

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Last year my husband Monte and I were visiting the towns of Ellsworth and Lamoine in Downeast Maine on September 30 and October 1. We stayed several days at SeaCat’s Rest, on the banks of the Jordan River, where our hosts were Bruce Gillett and Kathleen Rybarz and their Maine Coon cat.

131001 IMG_7556EA wall of windows gave us a view of the Jordan River, but wandering to the river’s edge provided great photo opportunities throughout the day and into the evening.

131001 IMG_7519EAs wonderfully calming SeaCat’s Rest was we couldn’t laze around all day.

On Monday, the 30th, we headed to the Ellsworth Public Library, where I had the opportunity to meet with Mark E. Honey. He’s a Maine history buff who has done much writing about Hancock County, which is the setting of my historic romance novel—and some of my ancestors. We’d had occasional contact through the years but had never met. I was amazed at what he had accomplished in spite of the fact that he has a disabling illness chaining him to a wheelchair. We both agreed that Downeast history is fascinating, and that this library has always been helpful and encouraging to those of us interested in researching the area.

Upon our return to SeaCat’s Rest the Jordan River reflected the hues of orange, pink, and gray from a sunset exploding from behind several mountains located on Mt. Desert Island, across the water. Patches of bright blue peeked through the cloud-like sunset. This breathtaking scene is perfect as September rolls into October and my time in Downeast Maine is coming to an end.  130930 IMG_7419 Jordan RiverE

130930 IMG_7422E

On Tuesday we headed to the deeds office at the Hancock County Courthouse. It’s enjoyable to have the freedom to (more…)

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