America Family Food Humor My Family Social Travel

Gizzards, Anyone?

Last week when Jerry and I were on our way back to Lake Havasu, we stopped in a Flying J station for fuel. While Jerry tanked our car with the “liquid gold,” I went inside to buy us a couple of snacks. I handed my choices to the clerk, a late-50s looking man, and he asked me a stunning question.

“Want any gizzards?”

“Excuse me,” I replied.

“Gizzards. Would you like a pound of gizzards?”

“Uh, no. No, thank you. Not today.”

Flying J Stations are of the big truck stop type, and we began going to them when we first started “motor-homing.” Their prices are generally a bit cheaper than the average in the area, and they have facilities for motor homes–special bays for diesel fuel, propane gas, etc. It is in the shopping part of the station—where I stood last week—that you pay your fuel bill (if you haven’t done so at the pump,) and where food and other items are for sale. Included with the food items are deli types, including fried chicken.

But gizzards? A pound of gizzards from Flying J?

The clerk was serious, and even though I had declined his offer, he continued to talk of gizzards. “I buy a pound every evening, sit in front of the TV, and have them for snacks.”

He had deep brown eyes and was of the friendly sort of man as he continued to talk. “My blood sugar is so high, I have to do something.” He looked at me in a pleading sort of way.

“Uhm. That’s too bad.” I believe I said those words or other clucking, soothing sounds.

“Yep, sometimes it goes over 300.”

“Oh, no, that’s really bad,” I replied as I struggled to keep from laughing–not at the poor man, you understand, but at the offer of a pound of gizzards, and I must admit, I had a funny mental picture of the gizzard-man slouched before the TV, grasping a brown paper sack of fried chicken gizzards.

Outside, I snatched open the car door, slid into my seat, and hardly able to talk for laughing, I told Jerry I wanted to talk to him about gizzards.

“Gizzards?” He looked across the car at me. I told him the story, and we laughed for miles.

Actually, I like gizzards, but I haven’t eaten any for years, for I seldom fry chicken anymore, even though it’s one of my favorite foods, and yes, I know it’s not good for me, and yes, I eat the skin too, fried crispy and golden brown. Of the fast food variety, Popeyes is my favorite, with the Colonel, a close second.

As a child I often ate gizzards, and even–yep–fried chicken feet! How about you? Do you like gizzards? And how about feet? Chicken feet? I suspect you can’t even buy chicken feet anywhere.


America Animals Christianity/Religion Church Food Humor Outrageous Social

Sunday Service, a Dog and Banana Cream Pie

I thought our worship time Sunday morning might have been right up there in the high numbers with services which involve peculiar happenings, but now I believe we have been outdone. As we were well into the Sunday morning happenings, here came one of the new women, who parked her car, went to the passenger side, and took out a large beautiful dog. As she was on her way to church, she had found the obviously lost dog, took it into her car, and proceeded to interrupt our church service, as she tried to open the glass door at the entrance and get the dog inside with her. There was such a commotion that for a few minutes the service was stopped, as various suggestions were offered, one of which was to put the dog in the back room, the problem being that we really don’t have permission to use that room. Finally, Jerry told her to put the dog back in her car, which was parked in full view of the glass windows that make up the front of our building. She stuffed the animal back into the car, slammed the door, came in and seated herself. We started up the service again, to the accompaniment of the lively friendly dog who was now adding to the hilarious, rather non-sacred scene by his loud and frantic barking.

“Everyone, try to ignore the dog,” smiling Pastor addressed the congregation through clenched teeth.

A little later as I glanced to the car from the edge of my eyes, I saw the dog leap through the open car window and disappear down the sidewalk. A bit later, here she/he came back, sniffing around at the church door and trying to get in. It was a deal, I assure you.

But take a note of this tasty item from Fox News. Exceeding us in confusion on Sunday was a church in Colorado Springs.

A Colorado pastor accused of tinkering with church finances got some harsh criticism Sunday in the form of a cream pie.

Rev. Don Armstrong was delivering his 9 a.m. sermon, “Of Christian Love and Charity,” at the Grace Episcopal Church in Colorado Springs, Colo., when 18-year-old Marcus Hyde ran into the church and lobbed a cream pie at the preacher, the Colorado Springs Gazette reports.

“He aimed right at me and would have hit me squarely, but I ducked into the pulpit and it went right over me and onto the floor,” Armstrong wrote to the Gazette. “This poor guy needs to find a more effective [way] to express himself without all the messy resulting complications.”

Armstrong, who is trying to break his congregation away from the Episcopal Church, has been accused of financial misdeeds by the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado, the paper said.

Hyde, who was apprehended by parishioners after a short chase, declined to be interviewed by the Gazette, but his former roommate Garrett Dawson said his friend had been following the Grace church saga.

Read all about it here.


My devotional blog is here.

Bible Christianity/Religion Family Food My Family My Home Photography Uncategorized

The Road to a Church in Lake Havasu Part II

Bible Study Ladies, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

On April 3rd, the Tuesday before Easter, I held my first ladies Bible study in the recreation room of DJ’s RV park. I was delighted that seven women showed up, and we had a wonderful session. I’m teaching on Forgiveness, and this crucial subject touches everyone, of course.

I had met Layne, the second lady from the right, the day before when she and her husband pulled into the space beside ours. We had a spiritual connection that I am not able to describe for you. We cried and prayed together, and on their leaving exchanged cards so that we could stay in touch. It isn’t my imagination that God is doing a spectacular work here. When Layne and Norris left on Wednesday, she looked intently at me and said, “This has been an incredible 24 hours for us here in this RV park.”

At our first Easter service on Sunday we had a grand total of 29 people! Four of them were children, leaving of course 25 adults. We were ecstatic. Four of us are missing from this picture, but I wanted you to gaze on these beautiful people that God is working on here in this city.

After church we grilled hot dogs and hamburgers for everybody–well, Michael did. On Friday, Jerry had bought a chef hat, had our church logo stitched on, and surprised Michael with it as he prepared to cook.


Recall that Michael is our son who for over 25 years was out of the church, but now is totally immersed in the work of God. I am forever thankful!

Last night was our 9th or 10th Tuesday night Bible study, and we had 10 adults there! Several are wonderful young men who are hungry for more of the Word of God. God’s presence is so real in our services–palpable and distinct.

So, it’s onward and upward for the Buxtons here in Lake Havasu, where God has been incredibly good, and has shown Himself strong and powerful. Thank you for your kind words of support…and for your prayers. Don’t stop praying for us.

America Art/Architecture Food Photography Social The World Travel

Dinner In Sight of the London Bridge

Dinner in sight of London Bridge, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

On Monday night Jerry and I met with four of our friends for dinner at Shugrue’s, which is one of the finer restaurants here in Lake Havasu. We waited a few minutes on them, so I had occasion to snap this picture of the London Bridge, which stretches across Lake Havasu at this point.


We had an exceptionally fine meal, and at its conclusion Greg suggested dessert. Across the aisle earlier we had seen one of the waiters prepare a flaming dessert, and it was so impressive, that finally we all decided we would share Bananas Foster.

Our very friendly waiter gathered the supplies, then whipped up this delicious, very impressive dessert.


My devotionals are here.



America Food Holidays Home My Family My Home Photography The World Travel

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

I don’t often post pictures of myself, but this one is so spectacular I couldn’t resist. I’m sure since you have gazed at this sophisticated attire, you agree with my showing off my charming “get-up.” It was to pay due honor to St. Patrick’s Day, I’m sure you have discerned.

Again, Mike and Mel had us over for dinner, today and they went all out with the holiday theme, and with traditional corned beef and cabbage. Their appetizers, though, were the hit of the evening, and they are so absolutely delicious, that I have posted the recipe.

On their trip to New Zealand a few months ago, they struck up a friendship with a gentleman from northern California who sent them this spectacular recipe. I have never eaten much lamb, but these are so delicious, I could have settled for them as my entire meal.

Lambie Pops Directions (as sent from Sonny to Mel by email)

One rack of lamb chops is more than enough for two people. Trim off the big strip of fat on top of the bones. (I trim it all out, but you can leave a little if you like it.) Then trim the silk off the outer edge of the meat. (Not totally necessary, but if you’re trimming out meat you might as well get rid of anything that could be chewy.)

Now just slice the ribs apart leaving a nice little piece of pure meat hanging on the bone. It will look like you don’t have much, but lamb is rich and an average rack has 8-10 bones, so don’t worry.

Mix approximately 2 tablesppons honey with 3 tablespoons of Dijon mustard. Throw in a spash of Worchestershire sauce for flavor. This is what you coat the meat end of the chop with, making sure to cover everything completely up about to 1 inch of the bone.

Chop 1/2 to 3/4 cup of pecans and coat the honey covered ribs with as many pecans as you like. (These really add richness.) You should end up having to shape these little babies back into perfect ribs when you place them on a broiler rack.

Broil or grill for 5-7 minutes on a side (medium to medium rare) or until the bones get a nice char and the remaining fat on the bones is a little crispy. With the honey coating and the nuts, the middle of the chop will not cook too fast. Serve 2 or 3 lambie pops to each person.

I especially like to chew all the charred little pieces of fat off the bones til there’s nothing left but bare bone. The first time we had these, I almost ate the bones.

Mike and Mel had never seen anyone prepare these, and their’s turned out perfectly, as I have said. Just follow these directions for an outstanding treat!

America Family Food My Family Photography Social Uncategorized

Seafood, Cajun Spices and Green-Egg Cooked Brisket! Can It Be Any Better?

DSC_0040, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

Last Saturday, Mike and Mel invited us over to their house where we had spectacular food, including shrimp, crab, clams and King crab steamed in water flavored with Cajun spices.

Review the pictures and weep.

Michael cooked this brisket in his “Big Green Egg” all day.


Before we left their home, in honor of Jerry’s birthday, we had coconut cream pie with candles stuck in. We staggered out the front door.


America Family Food Home Humor My Family My Home

Absolutely the World’s Worst Mac and Cheese

Historically, Jerry has not liked macaroni and cheese, but I do, and Andrew does, so when Andrew was still at home and Jerry would be off speaking or at a meeting or something, Andrew and I would have the special treat of Kraft Dinner macaroni and cheese. We both loved it, and I know it’s not authentic macaroni and cheese but it’s quite good, especially if you sprinkle lots of black pepper on it. So I would whip up a box of the stuff, and Andrew and I would eat the whole thing!

In recent times, I taught myself to make authentic macaroni and cheese, and over the years, Jerry has even softened to the point where, yes, occasionally, we could have such a dish for dinner. From “scratch,” I’ve made the dish three or four times.

I had chunks of fine cheese left from my big Christmas party, so when I took perishables from the fridge in Crestline, I included the cheese and brought it here to Arizona in the motor home. “We’re having macaroni and cheese for dinner, tomorrow,” I let Jerry know on Monday. He was gracious and said he had learned to like it a little better and that would be fine.

I cooked it yesterday, and it was the worse dinner I ever prepared in my whole life; the macaroni and cheese was not fit to eat. But we struggled through the meal, as church would be starting in an hour and a half and I didn’t have time to prepare anything else. It was awful. When I removed the dish from the oven, it looked beautiful, crusty and brown on the top, but right away I saw that it threatened to be dry—very dry—so that I decided to intervene. I pulled back the edges and poured in milk, thinking that if I stuffed the casserole dish back into the oven for a few minutes, the milk would be absorbed. Not!

When I spooned the food onto our plates, what appeared were dry blobs of macaroni with white milk flowing all over the place, and when I tucked the first bite into my mouth, I knew I had a winner—the world’s worst macaroni and cheese. It was dry, sweet, not salted enough, and it was dripping with 2% milk. We both salted, peppered and Tabascoed the mess on our plates, and Jerry even ate seconds, (I think he was starving) although, I duly noted his usual compliments on my cooking to be distinctly missing. I ate only a few bites, and when I couldn’t abide another morsel, scraped clean my plate into the trash.

I’m not sure what went wrong. I placed raw elbow macaroni in a shallow casserole dish, sprinkled a bit of salt over (I was afraid to put too much for fear the cheese would make it too salty), added the cheese I had grated which was a little parmesan, but mostly Jarlsberg, poured in milk to cover, then sprinkled on a topping of crushed crackers mixed with melted butter. WARNING: DON’T USE THIS RECIPE. I’m telling you now; it’s the world’s worst macaroni and cheese.

You cooks out there, help me here. What was the problem? I’m thinking maybe it was the wrong kind of cheese (I usually use cheddar, but I didn’t have any, and besides I needed to get rid of the Jarlsberg.) The cheese is not bad—tastes really good, so it’s not a matter of spoiled cheese, I know that. What in the world happened?


My daily devotional is here.




America Food Photography Social Weather/Nature

So Much For Global Warming

Headlines in our local paper today say 75% of California’s citrus crop has been destroyed because of the highly unusual cold weather we are experiencing—a billion dollar loss. Record temperatures have been set; Friday’s 37 degrees in Los Angeles is the lowest in its history, the previous record being recorded in 1932. Reports from Crestline on our local website say 1000 homes have suffered broken pipes because of the extreme cold.


On Sunday afternoon, Jerry looked out the front window and exclaimed. “Our sprinklers are on!” Let me assure you our automatic watering system has been in the off position for many weeks now, but I too saw water gushing through the frigid air. Later we would see scores of tiny icicles hanging from the watered bushes.

Poor Jerry, still in his heavy robe and slippers, had to brave the cold so he could determine the problem and its solution. Seems there is a valve within some of the sprinkler heads that had frozen and caused the sprinklers to come on. Lesson learned here: drain the sprinkler system in the fall or early winter.

He went to the basement, turned off the water at the main and came into the house for warmer clothes. Finally he decided he didn’t have time to buy the parts and repair the break, so after I drew a bucket of water, he turned off the water at the main shutoff valve. No water for us until Monday.


Inspection: – Although they look healthy, the browning of the stems indicates irreversible frost damage. Richard Pidduck has lost all his avocados, several hundred thousand dollars worth, on his 80 acre Santa Paula Canyon ranch.

(Stephen Osman / LAT)

Distant parts of the country have been hit by this fierce weather, especially the middle states.

Powerful winter storms that have killed at least 35 people in central US states are now sweeping north-eastwards. Ice storms – in which rain falls in temperatures so low it freezes – have been reported in New York state.

Some half a million people have been left without electricity after the storm brought down power lines.

Many businesses, day-care centres and schools have been forced to close in Maine because of treacherous roads.

Workers with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) distributed generators and bottled water in Oklahoma, after President George W Bush declared an emergency in the state on Sunday.

Full Story here.


Sent in by Sathish and Shobha

Global Warming? You must be kidding.


Children Food Internet Medical/Technical Science & Technology Social The World

Anorexia and Freedom of Speech

In the comment section of one of my posts, a gentleman, gently chided me for my kudos given to the Brazilian TV station that removed an offensive YouTube, citing issues with freedom of speech. I concur with my reader that protecting these freedoms are crucial. Is there a limit, though? What about this story where Spain has closed down a website that was directed to anorexic girls and that encouraged them not to eat. Was the government of Spain within its rights to take this action? Is that limiting our freedom of speech? Where do we draw the line? I want to learn of your views in this regard.

Spain takes lead in closing down the websites that tell girls it’s good to be anorexic

  • Teens get points for eating nothing
  • Doctors say that advice could kill
  • Health authorities in Madrid have acted to close a pro-anorexia website, accusing it of endangering the lives of teenage girls.Four months after the city led the world in the Size 0 debate by banning ultra-skinny models from its catwalks, health officials are shining the spotlight on the growing number of “pro-ana” websites that glorify starvation diets.


    Their first strike is against The Great Ana Competition, a website that awards a diploma to the girl who eats the fewest calories in a two-week period. They have filed a suit against the competition, which uses a scoring system that doctors said “would cause malnutrition in normal women”.

    Read the remainder of this article here.

    America Children Food Holidays My Family My Home Photography Social

    Gingerbread Men Cause for Holiday Caution

    Pappy Watches Gingerbread Men Decorating, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

    All the youngsters seem to be budding chefs; they fuss over who gets to help me in the kitchen, and we’ve cooked lots of food during the past days, including the evening that we made gingerbread men. Chloe and I mixed the dough, then I divided the chilled dough into three parts, and each of the visiting grandchildren rolled, placed on cookie sheets and decorated their own cookies. We watched the oven door carefully, so that none of the men would escape. It was a close call, though, for a couple of times we heard a pan rattling and knew we had a feisty gingerbread man in the oven. Chloe declared that one of hers was missing when she took out the pan, and we considered calling down to San Diego to see if a stray gingerbread man was running past Steve’s house.


    Alas, all this food can have serious consequences. It may be too late, but there still are holiday dinners and parties in the offing, so I bring you help with an informative article by Marilyn Marchione, an AP medical writer.

    The Twelve Days of Christmas bring holiday foods meant to be enjoyed, but no one wants a weight problem when the merriment ends.

    Food psychologist Brian Wansink has spent many of his own days researching how these problems occur. His new book, “Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think,” explores the unconscious cues that make us feast as we do, and how we can keep them from manipulating us.

    Nearly all of his suggestions are based on published results of scientific studies he has conducted as director of Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab.

    Here are 12 of his tips, one for each day of the season:

    • Put high-calorie foods on plates in the kitchen and leave leftovers there. You’ll eat 15 percent to 20 percent less. Do not serve “fat-family” style (from a big platter or bowl that is passed) unless it’s veggies or salad.

    • See it before you eat it. Dishing out Chex Mix led one group to consume 134 fewer calories than others who ate straight from the bag.

    • Keep the evidence on the table — turkey bones, muffin papers, candy wrappers. Diners in one study ate 30 percent more chicken wings when the bones were periodically cleared away than others whose bones stayed in front of them.

    • Bank calories. Skip the appetizers if you know you want dessert. You also will be more accurate at estimating how many calories you consume.

    • Sit next to the slowest eater at the table and use that person to pace yourself. Always be the last one to start eating, and set your fork down after every bite.

    • Embrace comfort food. Don’t avoid the food you really want, but have it in a smaller portion.

    • Avoid having too many foods on the table. The more variety, the more people will eat. People ate 85 percent more M&Ms when they were offered in nine colors rather than seven.

    • Keep your distance. To reduce the mindless snatch and grab, move more than arms length away from the buffet tables and snack bowls.

    • For foods that are not good for you, think “back.” Put them in the back of the cupboard, the back of the refrigerator, the back of the freezer. Keep them wrapped in aluminum foil. Office workers ate 23 percent less candy when it was in a white, covered candy dish than in a see-through one.

    • Use small bowls. A study found that people serving themselves from smaller bowls ate 59 percent less.

    • Use tall, narrow glasses for drinks. Even experienced bartenders poured more into short, squat glasses than into skinny ones.

    • Don’t multitask. People tend to unconsciously consume more when distracted by conversation or a game on TV. Setting your fork down and giving the conversation your full attention will prevent overeating.

    “We don’t know exactly how many calories, but chances are you’ll enjoy it more,” Wansink said. “And people will enjoy you more.”