It is literally flooding in my neck of the woods! It has been raining for almost 24 hours straight and people are stranded! No Fall Festival for us tonight, but Gracie will wear her taco costume anyway!! In celebration of Gracie (my Chihuahua) being the cutest taco you have ever seen, we are having my yummy nachos….see you thought I’d say tacos! Gotcha on that one! I was going to do tacos but my daughter was craving these instead.
If you are in a hurry, don’t want to spend a great deal of time in the kitchen, or just love Tex-Mex, this is the dish for you!! This may be served with lettuce, tomatoes, jalepenos (I use the sweet, candied), sour cream, and picante sauce! Throw on it what you love. Have fun with this one.
2 pound block of Velveeta cheese (You may use also decrease the amount to 1 pound)
2 cans of Ro-Tel Tomatoes (I use mild, but it is up to you…If you use a decreased amount of cheese only use 1 can of Ro-Tel)
Cut your cheese up into small squares. Put the cheese in a 2 quart microwave safe dish. Add Ro-Tel, juice and all. Stir well and microwave for four minutes. Take the cheese mixture out and stir well. Put your dish back in the microwave and cook on high for 3 minutes. In the meanwhile, brown your sausage in a skillet and drain all grease off. When you pull your cheese mixture from the oven the second time, stir well until it is smooth and not clumpy. Add sausage and incorporate well. That is it! Serve with refried beans, sour cream, lettuce, tomato, candied jalepenos, and picante if you like or just pour the dip over your chips. Anyway you choose, enjoy!!
Variation- You may also add a can of Cream of Celery or Cream of Mushroom Soup…if you use only 1 pound of cheese, you will only use 1 can of soup…if using 2 pounds of Velveeta, you will add 2 cans.
Gracie, my baby Chihuahua, is pictured here wearing her costume for the Fall Festival at church. She is going as a taco. Isn’t she the cutest? Gracie is basically my second “all my own” dog. We have had dogs since 1999, and I loved them, but they were really for my children who are grown now.
I knew they taught responsibility, caring, and gave great joy. I knew children that had pets matured more quickly, were more responsible as a whole, and seemed more secure so I knew getting them a pet was a good idea.
When my kids became adults and moved out, we kept my daughter’s Pomeranian. The reason we did was because in her dorm she could not have pets. There was no choice but to leave Prissy with us.
I loved Prissy and formed a very strong bond with her when the kids left home. I didn’t empty nest well and she was now my “baby”. I led a very busy life at that time. I was on the “Library Board” and volunteered many hours at my local library, and with a “Crime Victims Assistance” program in our county. I did volunteering for a local hospital, as well. I was active in my church (the one we attended at the time) so Prissy was left alone quite a bit.
I began to think about this. Prissy was used to gleeful and boisterous play when Kate came home and hubby and I didn’t “play” the way she did. I began to sense there was a loneliness in Prissy and I began to cut back on being gone so much. Still there were days that pulled me away, even when I didn’t want to be. I determined, at that point, I was going to say no a bit more forcefully to some things and give Prissy the attention she deserved.
As this new-found freedom to be home began to dawn on Prissy, she bonded all the more with me. She followed my every step and would put her nose under my door in the mornings, she was so anxious to be with me. Hubby had a rule back then of no dogs in the bed. That rule has since been changed.
Prissy died suddenly and without warning and I was devastated. Gone was my baby with her sweet ways, her adoring, unconditional love, and the fact she was no longer my inseparable buddy was almost more than I could bear. I cried and grieved! It was as if I could not shake it. I felt so much guilt that I had spent too much time away from her in the beginning of my empty nest transitioning, that I had not fought harder to secure a place in my bed so I could be with her that much more. I felt guilt over things I had no control over. I knew God had given Prissy to us and now my gift was gone forever!
I looked for other puppies, hoping another would help fill the void, but none bonded with me or me to them as Prissy had. Actually, none bonded to me period! I thought this was so strange because I had so much love to give. I began to wonder if this was my punishment for not appreciating Prissy as I should have. A friend told me Prissy was one of a kind and I would never find another like her. I began to believe that myself and it deepened my grief beyond words.
I watched as other dog owners would pick a puppy and the bond was totally natural. What was wrong with me?? That question went through my mind over and over. Finally, one day I began to pray about this. I told God Prissy was a dog, not a human and although she was irreplaceable, He could make another one for me with everything I needed, which was loving and companionable!
It was funny, because it takes me days to name a puppy, but as I prayed that prayer the name “Gracie” came to me. God let me know another puppy that loved me unconditionally was coming and to name her Gracie because that is what she would be…my saving grace from oppressive grief.
One day I took one more look at the classifieds online (I was not familiar with rescues at that time). I saw her and called immediately. The lady wanted to know how I got her number because it takes 24 hours for an ad to post and she had only posted ten minutes before the phone call. I knew God was up to something!
We met in a Wal-Mart parking lot the next day. At first I had misgivings about her. She seemed nervous, uncomfortable, and overly shy. Again, a rejection I thought. My friend told me to watch her as she held her. Every time I would say something, she would turn her head as far as it could go to look at me. There was another puppy that didn’t do that. It had bonded with the breeder. My friend looked at me and said, “This is the one, I can tell it. She wants you!”
Gracie had on a bulky sweater and I stripped it off. She relaxed in my arms. I handed the lady the money for her and gave my keys to my friend. I wanted to hold her all the way home. I stopped off at my husband’s office and he thought she was beautiful!! He isn’t a dog person like we are…or I should say WASN’T….he loves her, now.
Gracie and I went shopping with Kate for Gracie’s Fall Festival costume yesterday. Gracie is two years old now, so her costume from last year doesn’t fit. I drove and Kate held Gracie. She shook and trembled and panted the whole way there. The poor baby thought she was going to the vet! We got to the shop and Kate said Gracie was making her hot. Kate had been fishing and she was still pretty layered up, ready for a blizzard in south Texas…she is my Aggie!
When I took Gracie, immediately the shaking, trembling, panting stopped. I felt her little body totally relax. I don’t need signs anymore to know Gracie and I have bonded, but when I get them they warm my heart and bring me such joy!
I will always miss Prissy. She was one of the best dogs we ever had! But, Gracie is, too. She fills my heart with so much love! The old rule of no dogs in the bed is long gone. She snuggles right next to me at night and greets me with loving wet kisses in the mornings. She lets me dress her, put rhinestone collars on her, and baby her to my heart’s content. Her attitude seems to say, “Whatever makes Momma happy, makes me happy and that is what it is all about!” If you are a dog owner, you will know as crazy as this may sound, it is very normal and true!
The lady in the pet store said to me yesterday, “Ah, a rescue dog….one you rescued and one that rescued you!” I think that describes Gracie and me perfectly!
If you are thinking of a dog, precious reader, please, adopt and don’t hesitate! You won’t regret it!! They are great for your health physically and emotionally and you are great for theirs, too! Check your shelters and organizations such as ”Dogs Bound For the Pound”. They will be loyal and loving companions for life and for the fact you saved them from the unthinkable! Somehow, they know you literally saved their lives!
Please, let me hear your story of you and your precious pet! I know it is a beautiful one!! I will see you soon!
Amplified Bible (AMP)
25 Therefore I tell you, stop being [v]perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing?
28 And why should you be anxious about clothes? Consider the lilies of the field and [x]learn thoroughly how they grow; they neither toil nor spin.
29 Yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his [y]magnificence (excellence, dignity, and grace) was not arrayed like one of these.
30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and green and tomorrow is tossed into the furnace, will He not much more surely clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 Therefore do not worry and be anxious, saying, What are we going to have to eat? or, What are we going to have to drink? or, What are we going to have to wear?
32 For the Gentiles (heathen) wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all.
34 So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.
On a night not too long ago my family was in the dining room playing a card game after supper. Suddenly, Gracie our chihuahua, began to run to the back door barking and was jumping up and down. I had no idea what was wrong with her, but I knew something was different.
I have a door and then I have a glass door in front of the regular door. The “regular” door was open and you could see out through the all glass door. I heard my daughter say, “Look!! A kitten!” Sure enough there was a little gold kitten mewing at the door, pawing the door to get in. I am allergic to cats. I am not slightly allergic, but I am break out in hives, wheeze, and my eyes swell shut allergic to cats! As I watched the kitten desperately trying to get in my heart melted with compassion for it.
There was a storm approaching this particular night and lightening lit up the sky. You could tell the little thing was scared and hungry. Immediately, my daughter and our friends went outside and I made a mixture of bread and milk. When I went outside there was another cat a little older than the kitten and they devoured the contents of the dish. I went back inside and found a can of chicken and fed them the contents of that as well. We managed to get them under a shed we have, along with the food. I only saw the kitten and the cat one more time and they were gone.
How I longed to rescue that kitten! I wanted to bring it into my home, give it a roof, make sure it had warm blankets and a bed. My heart broke for it knowing how starved it was and frightened of the approaching storm. As I thought of this, the Lord reminded me of how He felt the same about me. His love and compassion toward me is innumerably greater than what I felt for the kitten. He cannot and never will turn His head from me or leave me to fend for myself or without hope. He takes care of me with great promise and with great care! Oh, how God loves us all!! How He longs to rescue us from all trouble! If my heart is moved by an animal, God’s heart is certainly moved by the hurts, ills, and desperation of the human race.
His provision was and is Jesus! Jesus took our suffering, our hunger, our ills, our emotional hurts, our lack and our approaching storms and paid for them with His blood. All we have to do is trust He loves us with a great and undying love and longs to extend that love to us through His saving grace!
Do you know Jesus? Do you know you are loved and never without hope? Do you know Jesus waits for you to call His name so He can show Himself mighty, loving, and compassionate on your behalf and in whatever you are going through? He is! Call out to Him today! Give your heart to Him and see Him work wonders in you and for you! Let Jesus rescue you.
Blessings, precious reader! I will see you soon!
One of my favorite things in life is traveling, especially when we are able to take our travel trailer! This week, my husband has a case in a town about 3 hours away and I get to go with him, and we are going in my beloved “home away from home”! Yes, there is a little bit of hillbilly in me!
I love having these trips with hubby! When he is finished with work, we go find great restaurants, flea markets, and antique shops. We then come back to an excited Gracie and just have down time together…just the two of us! I think that is what I love most is having hubby all to myself!
It is so important, whether before or after you have empty nested, to have times away. Even if it is just a day trip, make time to go and do something fun and different. It may be just the two of you going to a zoo, on a scenic drive, or a full-fledged weekend get-away, but whatever it is get away from phones, computers, and the daily routine and find new things to explore together! It is like a booster shot for marriages!
If we aren’t careful, we will get so concentrated on the kids and the activities we have them in our spouse can rarely be seen, much less have quality time with them! Soon life becomes a rat race even at home and our mates suffer. Once the kids are grown and gone you can easily look at each other and almost ask, “Who are you?”. A good way to know if you are making the time necessary to keep your marriage healthy and strong is to ask yourself, “When was the last time I gave my undivided attention to my spouse without thinking about what I needed to hurry and do next?” You will know from your answer if it is time to break away, even if it just means a walk together!
Sometimes, we can get so busy, even with noble things, our spouses suffer! God‘s first institution was not the church, but marriage. Don’t get me wrong, church is of utmost importance and hubby and I are there every time the doors open, BUT we don’t put serving others over serving one another! The authority and order of your home is meant to be God, then your spouse, then children. This order was set in place by God, Himself. When we get those priorities out-of-order or balance, then there is an open door for trouble!
Your marriage is your first ministry and what you put the most time into is what will flourish! Time away is a good way to make sure bonding is still taking place, even when you have been married many years.
Just a tidbit, precious reader! Have a blessed day in the Lord! I will see you soon!
This is a picture of what I thought I was getting….
This is what I got…and I have only been here thirty minutes!
Oh, there is nothing like the great outdoors to relax you! You are with friends and family, you have brought your favorite games, Andy Griffith is ready to be popped in the DVD, Gracie is resting with her favorite toy snuggled against her, what in life could be wrong with this picture? I am so glad you asked. Let me list it all!
1. Hubby got a new battery for the travel trailer. The old one was “dead”. When He hooked up the new one sparks flew everywhere!
2. He comes in a hot, sweaty mess and tells me the new battery is too big and he traded in the old one so it can’t be charged.
3. I say, “Call Daddy!”
4. Hubby calls Daddy and Daddy fixes it in seconds. Hubby had the wrong wires hooked up and blew the electrical system out. Daddy fixes all.
5. We didn’t need a new battery, and the new one won’t fit. Yep, Daddy fixed that, too!
6. Hubby gets ready to hook up the trailer and blows the electrical system out again.
6. I forget half my grocery list.
7. We get to the campground and I use the restroom and when I flush…well, you can guess.
8. I call hubby to come in, NOW and fix the toilet. “Now” to hubby is fifteen minutes later.
9. I ask hubby what he thinks “now” means and he tells me our cousins next door don’t have heat in their new trailer and he was in the middle of that. We give each other “Help me be patient” looks!
10. A nest of wasps try to attack hubby and cousins as they try to fix the heat.
11. It is 106 degrees in the shade, I am menopausal and the air won’t cool.
12. I start digging for my ashwagandha!!!!!!
13. My cousin forgot to defrost the meat and we haven’t eaten all day, plus I forgot half my grocery list! I was supposed to bring half the food.
14. I forgot to put a puppy pad down for Gracie, she is crying, I wonder what on earth is wrong with her and then I find out all over the carpet!
That is just a small list of “it”. But things did get better. My cousin came over while I was blogging and I stopped to talk to her. She tells me things she remembers when we were little girls and I tell her things I remember. We stroll down memory lane for a bit and soon the list above is forgotten, peace settles into the trailer, I am clean and Gracie is sleeping blissfully beside me.
For a moment the world and all of its chaos stops and it isn’t even 2013 anymore. We recall the days of the great revivals and the fervor people had in serving God and gathering in His presence back then. I am so blessed I lived in that time. I am so blessed I reconnected with my sweet cousin. I am so blessed our husbands enjoy each other’s company and we are all of like precious faith!
Now the list doesn’t seem to even matter! My aunt and uncle are coming and there will be more talks of the “good ole days” and I will have yet another memory to rack up to that list after tonight. Suddenly, the ”great outdoors” really does seem great. Have a great July 4th, precious reader! I know I will! Simply, Juliana