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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!

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The Case for Whirling Squirrels

When we’re home in Crestline, our beautiful squirrels with big bushy tails that try to get in our house and would eat from our hands if we would let them, drive Jerry crazy! Before the birds can eat the food that Jerry so lovingly places for them, the squirrels jump on the feeders and gorge themselves. They also dig up flower bulbs and generally make a nuisance of themselves.

Jerry gets so irritated with them that he has threatened to get a little friendly gun and pop them a time or two. So far I have been able to restrain him from such criminal activity.

Today, I found what may solve at least part of the squirrel problem for us and for our neighbors–a bird feeder, that as the squirrels feast on their tasty, but forbidden meals, begins whirling, and either knocks away the squirrels, or causes them to leap from this unusual apparatus. Take a look at the video. I can’t wait to show it to Jerry, and I know he will love it. I then will feel smug about protecting the gorgeous, albeit pesty, squirrels of Crestline, and at the same time, allowing provision for the beautiful birds that come to our home.

Look at the video here. 


My daily devotional is here.

America Family Home Social The World

Revealing Me

I’m fond of taking little tests and filling out short questionaires that purportedly tell about myself. I’m not sure why these are fun, for honestly, I believe I know myself better than does anyone else. Perhaps the fascination of this activity is the distinctly accurate report that is usually the outcome of these little quizzes. A neat one is here–quick and easy. All you do is select one picture from each frame. It’s interesting how so doing will reveal who you really are. I just finished doing it, and the resulting synopsis is amazingly me.

I’ve made a link here that reveals the results of MY TEST. Take a peek. Then take the little test yourself…and let us know. Is that you portrayed there?

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It’s True. He Received a Free Computer!

Clever Dude writes a fascinating article here on how to sort through scams and come up with legitimate offers of free or nearly free merchandise. As soon as my internet connection problem is resolved, I might consider taking these steps to snag a new laptop for myself. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Report on my internet problem: As many of you know, Jerry and I are now living in our motor home at DJ’s RV Park in Lake Havasu, AZ. When we first arrived they had no wireless internet service, but they quickly had a router installed that reportedly would give us service in our motor home. Nada, not, zilch. Can’t even get it consistently a few feet away from the computer tower.

In the distance, I hear our friend Patrick Garrett dashing to our rescue. He has spoken with Ken and Jennifer, the RV park owners, and in a couple of weeks he will be here to install a new fine router. So until that happens, I travel daily to the library or to Hastings Bookstore. Occasionally, I can be on the internet in the rec room for a few minutes.

If the new router from Patrick doesn’t work, I will probably go to a Verizon card which should forever solve the problem…maybe. 🙂

Check out the Dude’s offer and tell us here if you grab a free computer.


My daily devotional is here.

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Children of the World

DSC_0077, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton. (This beautiful child is Bryn Allard.)

If you ever hear I’ve been thrown in jail, you might suspect the crime’s root to spring from the pitiful situation of a child. On more than one occasion, in a grocery store or along a mall corridor, I’ve had to restrain myself when I saw children being mistreated. The mother, a snatching harridan, yells and jerks her pale-faced baby. The child cowers; his rapid eyes jerk to announce his terror. Helpless before the tornado of adult anger, the child is limp—or stiff—nowhere to turn, no one to speak for him.

And with pity, I see the frustration of the mom, frazzled, no doubt overwhelmed by life, having too many responsibilities and too few resources. Probably missing are positive role models, supportive people who might hand her a needed respite and who would provide critical rest from the excruciating challenge of parenting. I long to tap her on the shoulder with an offer of help.

On consecutive days, I have heard radio reports of two separate incidents where toddlers were given marijuana and shown how to smoke the stuff. I was incensed when I heard these stories, and was reminded anew of the vulnerability of precious small children.

Scripture speaks to this issue in Genesis 33:13-15. “And he said unto him, My lord knoweth that the children are tender, and the flocks and herds with young are with me: and if men should overdrive them one day, all the flock will die.

“Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant: and I will lead on softly, according as…the children be able to endure…”

I’m pleading today for the children of the world. I’m begging mothers and fathers to lead softly, to be tender with your precious, delicate children. Please ask for help if you feel out of control, or if you feel overwhelmed or you seem to be lacking in the ability to parent your babies. Please. Someone will help you. Your job is the most important in the world. It is an exhausting and labor-intensive job; one that at times is extremely frustrating. You are not alone in this world. There are caring people who will support and assist you.

Some of you may want to read the sordid details of one of these incidents here.

Police said the video shows the 2-year-old and 5-year-old brothers smoking the drug, which was given to them by their uncle and a friend who lives with the family.

“In 25 years, I have never seen anything remotely close to this,” said Police Chief Bruce Ure of the Watauga Police Department.

Read my daily devotional here.

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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.




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Checkers, Jelly Beans and Precocious Children

Shawnna told me some time ago that unless she watches carefully, five-year-old Cole can beat her in checkers. Since he’s been here with us the past few days, he has challenged numerous people to such games, and when he wins, he swaggers and grins. He beats 9 year old Gentry (who is very bright) frequently, but not all the time, has beat one nameless adult who lives in this house, and has almost beat his Granny a couple of times. (No one can beat 4 year old Brady though, for when he plays, he just starts picking up any checkers he wants and puts them on his stack.) Once I was ready to call a game with Cole a draw, but I was able to redeem myself, and am I ever glad I persisted. I was feeling quite embarassed. For some reason, even during my childhood, I have never played checkers very much, but, even so, I should easily be able to hold my own against a five-year-old!

Now consider this:


Math prodigy corrects Discovery Place

Exhibit pulled after boy shows it doesn’t add up


Part of the new exhibit on candy has been removed from Discovery Place. And you can thank Parker Garrison.

When the 8-year-old math whiz at Charlotte Christian visited the “Jelly Belly Presents Candy Unwrapped” display, he accepted the challenge: Use equations to calculate how many jelly beans were in a pyramid and other containers.

His mother, Donna, didn’t want to wait while he tried all the formulas. So she copied the numbers he needed, and he took the problems home.

That’s when he realized something was wrong.

For years, Parker has amazed his parents and teachers with his math skills. When he was 3, his parents could tell him which coins they had in their pocket, and he’d add the total in his head. The remainder of this fascinating article is here.

(Edit: 7:38 I am sorry, but since I posted this, the article does not seem to be readily available without signing up with the Charlotte newspaper. I’ll see if I can find it in a more convenient place.)

This story pleases me on a couple of levels:

1. The brilliance of this child fascinates me.

2. His mother’s patience with writing down the questions is admirable.

3. Parker’s confidence in his own figures, so that he would challenge a whole museum display.

4. The dad’s being willing to call the museum and report the error.


My daily devotional is here.

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Introducing Ella Claire Buxton

Introducing Ella Claire Buxton, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

She was born on Tuesday, weighing 6 lbs, 13 ounces, and measuring 17 3/4 inches long. Yesterday she went home from Redlands Community hospital in the company of her mother, father and big sister, Chloe. Her brothers are still here in Crestline with Pappy and me.

This morning when I spoke with Andrew on the phone, I asked, “Well, how was your first night home? Did she sleep?”

“Yes, she slept, Mom. At 2:00 am she finally nodded off. She wants to eat all the time.”

A couple of hours ago, I asked again, “Well, how are things? Is she sleeping?”

“All day long, Mom,” the new father answered in a resigned, weary voice.

I snickered and couldn’t help myself. “Saving up for tonight, is she?”

Andrew growled. I hung up the phone.


My daily devotion is here.

Family Home Social The World

Missing Woman Home After 25 Years

When I read such a story as this one, my mind become a whirl of questions and imagined scenes, as I think of all the people connected with such a family. What happened during those 25 years that she was missing? Did the family hire detectives to look for her? After all she has eight children. Was she declared dead? How will she fit in with her home and her family now?

This is at once a wonderful story and a terrifying one: Wonderful because she is finally united with her family; terrifying because she has “lost” 25 years of her life.

Horrors of horrors. Look what can happen when a woman goes shopping!

BANGKOK, Feb. 7 (UPI) — A woman who boarded the wrong bus on an attempted shopping trip from Thailand to Malaysia has returned home after 25 years.

Jaeyana Beuraheng told her eight children she accidentally boarded a bus bound for Bangkok instead of Malaysia, and once there she boarded a second incorrect bus because she could not read or speak Thai or English, The Times of London reported Wednesday.

Beuraheng, who speaks only the Yawi dialect used by Muslims in southern Thailand, said the noise and traffic of the big city confused and disoriented her, leading her to board the second wrong bus to Chiang Mai, near the border with Burma.

The woman said she spent five years begging on the street in the city and was often mistaken for a member of a hill tribe because of her dark skin tone.

She was arrested in 1987 on suspicion of being an illegal immigrant and was sent to a social services hostel when authorities were unable to determine her origins.

However, last month, three students from her home village arrived at the hostel for training, and they were able to communicate with Beuraheng and help her find her way home.

Taken from


My daily devotional here.

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The Coming of Ella Claire

Most likely, within a few hours, the Gerald Buxton clan will have joyfully expanded, and baby girl Ella Claire will have snuggled into the spot that we have carefully reserved for her. Shawnna and Andrew were working with us in the Rialto church, when Chloe, their first child, was born. Redlands Community was the hospital, and both Andrew and Shawnna were so pleased with the doctor that he has delivered all their children, even though they now live in San Diego. Last night was a happy time; the whole Andrew Buxton family converged on Pappy and me here in Crestline.

San Diego is two hours away from Redlands, Shawnna has easy, non-complicated preganancies and deliveries, so the doctor checks her in a week before her due date, and if all seems well, induces her labor. They left here this morning before seven, and she is now in the birthing process at Redlands Community.

It’s been quite an active morning, already. By 5:00 I was in my study preparing my devotional for today, and in a very few minutes, in walked Chloe, grinning. “I’m so excited, I can’t sleep, Granny.” By 6:00, the whole crew was up and at it, and to tell the truth I wasn’t feeling exactly spiritual or devotional minded as more little bodies came into the study, took up markers and papers and began an art session, literally at my feet. I have three beautiful paintings on my desk at this moment, presented to me by Brady, the baby…but only for a few more hours.

I’ve played two games of checkers with Cole, cooked breakfast, with Gentry’s help, who stirred up the oatmeal, supervised teeth-brushing and dressing of the wiggily bodies, instructed Gentry and Cole to begin their homework, ordered the beds to be made, and fussed with Gentry who discovered he left his backpack with said homework in the van which sets now on the parking lot of Redlands Community Hospital 25 miles away. I also gave him a sweet, firm lesson on responsibility….etc. He looked at me soberly.

Within the hour, we will take a walk in the woods (the weather has turned unseasonably warm, and it’s a beautiful day), have lunch when we return, and keep waiting for THE CALL. When the baby is born, we will go to the hospital, take turns holding little Ella, then we’re going to Rebecca’s and order in pizza so the cousins may play together awhile.

I’ve teased Chloe about the sonogram perhaps being wrong and that the baby will be a boy.

“No, Granny! I’m sick of boys.”

“Maybe baby is pretending to be a girl, carfully hiding significant parts from the camera,” I continued with the teasing.

“No, Granny. Stop. It is not another boy!”

Well, it’s a happy, exciting day here at the Buxton household in Crestline. Hang on for further developments. I’ll keep you posted.

UPDATE 2:00 pm Tuesday Andrew called Chloe, who had sent a text message to her dad. “Another few hours, Chloe,” he said.

UPDATE 3:30 pm Tuesday THE CALL has come, and through the phone lines I could hear healthy baby Ella Claire screaming at a high pitch. She weighs 6 pounds and 13 ounces. We will leave here in a couple of hours to drive down and see her. Shawnna is well.

UPDATE 9:30 pm Tuesday We just returned from the hospital where we took turns holding and admiring beautiful Ella Claire. She is tiny–only 17 3/4 inches long. She is a perfect baby, and for this we are grateful, and sincerely and humbly thank our God.

UPDATE 3:30 pm Wednesday Shawnna, Andrew and Ella Claire had a good night at the hospital, and they will be driving home to San Diego within the next few hours. Jerry is on his way down the mountain to take Chloe to them, as she is going home to help out with things. I’m keeping the boys until Saturday, then we’ll take them home also.

ABOUT PICTURES: See comment # 25


My daily devotional is here.