Honey Walnut Cream Cheese Spread

Honey Walnut Cream Cheese Spread

  • 8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese,softened
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla; try clear vanilla extract to keep the white cream cheese from looking dingy.
  • Dash cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons crushed walnuts

Combine cream cheese, honey, brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon in a food processor blend until smooth. You can also toss it all in a bowl and whip it with a hand blender until fluffy. Stir in the walnuts and refrigerate until it’s time to serve it.

It’s yum.

I’d stopped at Einsteins to get a carton of their honey almond cream cheese spread, bought it and somehow got home with plain cream cheese. ???  So I found this on Pinterest and I love walnuts & tolerate almonds.  It says it’s a Panera copycat but I don’t really do Panera.

It’s a conundrum…

My mom is amazing.

She was 16 when her mom died in 1945.  She’d been living in Spur, going to school and working at Bell’s Cafe.  But after her mom’s death, she had to quit school &  move back home to the farm to take care of 2 younger brothers, ages 11 and 3, and my granddad.  For the record my mom would tell you she’d wanted to finish school more than anything.

Later that same year, in October she married my dad.  She was 17 by then.  and at 18 & 19 she had Cathy & Jo.  And she’d had a still birth in 1956 & I showed up in 1957.

I know sometimes she probably didn’t think so sometimes but she was the best mom ever.  Times didn’t get really easy for mom & dad til they were older.  They never had a whole lot but my mom sure could make the most of what they had. And they always shared what they had.   When my granddad fell into a bottle after losing his wife, mom had to still take care of little brothers.  And young cowboys would wander through.  My uncle needed a guardian for his son when he was in the Army and mom was the guardian.  I remember daddy had a friend who married a woman with 4 daughters and the cowboy camp where the lived would not allow them to go to school so they all had to be homeschooled.  The 2 oldest daughters lived with us for a while so they could go to high school.  And when my sister Jo died, and before really, her son lived with us and my parents raised their grandson.  Basically, my mom NEVER turned anyone away.  Not only were there a lot of strays over the year, but I can also tell you my mom always figured out a way to make a meal enough if another person or 2 showed up.  I can promise you no one ever left my mother’s table hungry.

There is a Facebook group where people ask for things….furniture, clothing, toys, rides…and it’s a place where people give, not sell.   I’ve never taken anything but I’ve given a few times.  It’s harder now that I’m not working…I don’t always have much to give anymore.  Saying I can barely support me is not exactly true. I’m ok, but I don’t have the extra I used to have.

There is a woman on the site who this week said she was looking for someone to hang out with.  She’s stays with someone, is unemployed, has no car. Says she has no family.    She doesn’t have a car.  She says she’s a cancer survivor. She says she just stays at home all the time with nothing to do.  All the things to pull at heart strings. So I told her I was working at the food bank on the 23 & asked if she wanted to go.  After being assured I normally just pack boxes or unpack crates, she thought that would be fun.  But after that I’d need to drop her off at a doctor’s appointment at UMC.   Not “if it was convenient” or “if I had time”.    It was just expected.  And I don’t mind doing it but I do like to be asked.

I read back through her post and it’s an interesting picture.  She lives with someone that she had a fight with so though she was about to be homeless.  That was yesterday.  Today she asked for food but then her post was deleted.  That normally only happens if you get banned.  She talked about wanting a job but could only work 11-7 Friday-Sunday and needed a ride to and from.   She mentioned a son.   I don’t know what to think.

Being my mom’s daughter, I try really hard to show compassion. Like mom, I’m a giver.  I know that even though I don’t have much, I have enough.  But it’s a different era.  I’m sorry she’s going to be homeless but I can’t have a stranger living in my home.   And I don’t have money to buy groceries for 2 households.  It’s been a really long time since I’ve been hungry although there were some early days a box of mac and cheese lasted 3 or 4 meals before payday.  Today, she asked for white bread, ham and “something sweet”.  Not much really but….I don’t know.

I’ll admit that I’m less of a giver than I used to be.  I stupidly loaned a dear friend some money and it took her 3x as long as promised to pay it back.  And after I finally pressured her, she paid back but has not talked to me since.  She was someone I never, ever thought would do something like to me and frankly, it burned me to the ground.  Now I’ll buy lunch for a friend but there will never ever be another loan to another person.

So I have confusion about this Facebook person.  She sounds like a person who will strip you clean if given the opportunity.  But then I think of my mom who never turned anyone away.  And I think of this:

Matthew 25:31-40

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

But here I am trying to justify.  It’s a different world.  People like and cheat and steal and use people for whatever they can get out of them.   Kindness surprises me.  I expect someone to drop the door in my face or hit my car with their car door and not even care.   It’s a world so opposite of the way I was raised and I don’t understand it anymore.

Jo Dee Messina

I have my car radio set on a country station that plays some older stuff along with current stuff.  And one of the people they play is Jo Dee Messina.  I’m not a huge fan of female singers but  I always thought she had a beautiful voice and she did not sound like everyone else.

That being written,  I’ve never paid money for a concert with a female artist although I’ve seen Reba McEntire in concert but she was opening for George Strait.   I saw Barbara Mandrell years ago at the fair for free. And we went to the Grand Old Opry and they had female artists.   I even won tickets once for Carrie Underwood but sold them.   I like their music but I just would not pay to see them.

But I was wondering what happened to Jo Dee.  She’d had a lot of songs from late ’90’s through Mid ’00’s.  Google says she had songs later but I had not heard any of them.  It does not appear they got much airplay.  I had not even thought about her until I found this radio station.   So I Googled her.

What I found is eerily strange.  There were articles (or maybe just 1, reprinted over and over) written 3 days ago.  She had cancer.  Lost her money.  Her marriage failed.  She’s a struggling single mom now.  But she says that 5 years ago, Jesus came up on her porch:

“Jesus Christ walked onto my front porch and argued with me all day long. As real as I’m sitting in this seat, Jesus came to my front porch and He’s like, ‘She’s mine,'” ~~ “Explaining that Jesus was lovingly referring to her”.   (from Fox News)

She says she let go of the problems.  She embraced Jesus and turned things over to him.  And now her cancer is gone.  She’s beginning to tour again, with an attitude to glorify Him instead of for glory for herself.    It will be interesting to see what happens.  Country radio is not good giving people second chances so I don’t see her where she once was but I hope she can find where she needs to be.

Stories like hers really speak to me.  Sometimes I get down and wonder what the point is but my faith has already gotten me through the sad times.  And why, for some reason, do you wonder about a person that you’ve truly never thought about before? And then to find an interview that is 2 days old.  It’s eerie.  And it’s there for a reason.  I think I was lead to the article for some reason I may never understand.  It’s certainly something I’m going to have to think on.



Guest Room

I finally have one!!  Now I need some guests!!

I have not been in a position to have one in years.  I spent 3 years in a one bedroom apartment so anyone visiting had to sleep on the couch (more comfortable) or blow up bed (bigger)….now they’ll have a real bed.

And I bought myself a new bed & moved old one into guest room.

Pretty, huh?

New Bed!!
                       Guest room.  BYOP                                  (Bring your own pillows)



Three Days of the Condor

1975.  The year I graduated from high school.

Robert Redford
Faye Dunaway
Cliff Robertson
Max Von Sydow

Robert Redford plays Joe, a man who reads for the CIA.  The explanation is that the readers look for nefarious plans in the spy world.  Joe goes out from lunch and comes back to find all of his colleagues have been murdered.  After reporting it to his bosses, he quickly figures out he doesn’t know who he can trust & he’ll need to figure out what’s going on in his own way.

He basically kidnaps Kathy to give him some shelter and help.  Needless to say, she doesn’t stay hostage for long because it’s Robert Redford.  Duh.  Faye Dunaway is a beautiful actress and looks great in this movie.

Cliff Robertson is Joe’s section director and to the bitter end it’s hard to tell what side he’s on.  Not sure what the thing living on his head was. #ReallyBadHairDay & he probably thought his pornstache made him look younger.  It was the 70’s.

Max Von Sydow, an entirely fascinating actor, plays a hired assassin.  He has no skin in the game…he goes with the money.

There is nothing sexier than a smart man.  And if he looks like Robert Redford it’s even better.  I love how he figures out what’s going on.  One of the coolest things for me is that he was an old Bellhead (like me) and uses his knowledge of phone company to help his cause.  I remember that from the first time I saw the movie and look forward to it every time.  I love his time in the central office and talking to CNA (Customer Name & Address bureau) because I’ve been there.  It’s a little camaraderie..

Yep, I’m a nerd.

It’s dated, no doubt.  The cars, the suits, the hairdos.  But I love the story and I love the cast.  And I’m dated too.



I’m tomato sad

Uh-oh.  I have blossom-end rot.

The tops of my tomatoes look good but their bottoms are rotting.  I looked online to see what was wrong and apparently it’s pretty common.  We had a lot of rain since I planted on April 29 and I have apparently over watered.  And there is probably a calcium deficiency.  So this afternoon I’m going to prune off  dried leaves and tomatoes that are still growing that have the issue.  And I need to water 2x a week.  Fingers crossed!!

I’m bummed.