Would it Have Been Different if The Makers of South Park Said it Instead of Phil Robertson?

Let's face it...there are double standards in this world.  Everywhere one turns, it is OK for one person to offer a "personal opinion" and not OK for another.  I always told my children that the beauty of having an "opinion" was that everyone had one.  An "opinion" is yours...YOU own it.  So, why, I must ask myself,  is everyone so concerned about making "opinions" all the same?

I am a southerner.  And yes, most of us do cling to our guns and religion.  And family.  This is a way of life for us.  This is how we were brought up.  From the very beginning, I have enjoyed watching the Duck Dynasty television show, not only because the Robertson family is from Louisiana but because those Robertson boys' antics are some my own boys have experienced.  Growing up in the south is a different lifestyle.  We hunt, fish, play sports (Louisiana is the Sportsman's Paradise, after all) and go to church.  And we don't just "go" to church; we wear our Christianity on our sleeve like a badge.  We pray for everything from rain to good farm crops to healing.  And what's wrong with that?  I, personally, love that. 

Phil Robertson first got reprimanded for saying a prayer at the end of every Duck Dynasty show each week.  It apparently offended people.  Hmmm...my answer to that is, don't watch it then.  There are lots of shows on television that offend me.  Do I pitch a hissy fit (a southern term) and say, "Make them stop doing that!"  No, I simply turn the dial to another program and go on down the road.  Phil refused to stop praying on the show.  Then, the people who are for gun control said the show offended them.  Again, turn the dial.  There are many television shows AND movies that depict guns used in a much more violent manner than hunting (It's OK for Hollywood to depict in in movies...).  Hunting is a way of life here in Louisiana.  We hunt food to put on our tables; that is the truth.  So, finally, they got him.  He gave an interview for GQ Magazine (Which has not come out yet) and some questions were asked of Phil that he answered honestly, according to HIS "opinions and beliefs" and the outcry has begun.

"Suspended".  That word sounds like one uses in schools around the country when children have broken a rule.  "Suspended Indefinitely" sounds like "expelled" (that's when one has seriously fractured a school rule).  Phil answered some questions by quoting the Bible. Questions that were asked by the interviewer, whom I'm sure, expected the sort of response he got.  He had Phil Robertson right where he wanted him.  He, the interviewer was going to make a name for himself by breaking this rural born, southern man of God down; he was going to expose him for what he really was.  And he did.  He exposed Phil Robertson for being a Christian who is not afraid of voicing his "opinion" of what is right and wrong in this world.  He is not afraid of quoting the Bible.  He is not afraid of praying on television, where millions of people see he and his family living their faith.  This man is not afraid of the television network's threats or being "indefinitely suspended".  His honestly for standing up for his beliefs is something all Christians should be proud of.  The interview did not break Phil Robertson down; he stands as firmly as these old oak trees that have weathered many hurricanes here in the south.

Now, I must pose the question I started with:  "Would it have been different if the makers of South Park had said it instead of Phil Robertson?"  I never watched or allowed my children to watch South Park growing up...because it was one of those shows I just chose to turn the channel on.  Therefore, when my season ticket package to the theatre this year contained tickets to "The Book of Mormon", all I knew was the it was one of the most popular shows on Broadway and a very difficult ticket to obtain.  I settled into my seat and as the show began, I was appalled.  I am not Mormon but that show was one of the worst I had ever seen.  Broadway shows are always a bit "edgy" but this show was more than edgy; it not only made fun of the Mormons but also had parts that were very offensive to me, as a Christian.  When my husband and I walked out of the theatre, he made a comment that has stuck with me.  He said, "That show is what the world finds funny."  There's that double standard I was talking about.  Everyone has been touting "The Book of Mormon", saying it is the funniest and best show out there.  Have you heard of one person out there demanding they take it off Broadway?  My point is, why should Christians keep their mouths shut about their beliefs?  Whey should they be persecuted for quoting the Bible, when others can quote Marxists or Communist or anybody else in their interviews?  Why should they not be allowed to pray on their television show(which depicts their lifestyle) when others television shows portray characters of other religions praying to or worshiping their gods. 

The ridiculousness of this situation shows the state that our nation is in.  This nation was formed on the premise of "Freedom of Religion".  Our forefathers were tired of others telling them what they could think and how they could worship.  It seems to me that "Freedom of Religion" these days only applies to every other religion than Christianity.  I, for one, applaud Phil Robertson for his honesty and voicing his opinions and his beliefs.  We, Christians, should all strive to be so bold.

Living in Wonderland...

Living in Wonderland. That's what my husband says living with me is like.  I'm afraid that today proved him correct.

It was going to be a regular Monday.  Filled with all the normal things that I do on most given Mondays.  Washing clothes, going to yoga class, the post office and grocery shopping.  Finishing up early, I would then stop by the nail shop before returning home to address my Christmas cards.  It all started out pretty normally but then...I suppose I fell down that rabbit hole.  To Wonderland.

The day started out cold and rainy and just downright dreary.  But I was determined to head to the gym for my yoga class.  It always made me feel good to go to yoga class and then I would be ready to face all of the other tasks that awaited me.  And sure enough, I felt great after completing my session.  Rolling my mat up, I walked to the bench by the door, slipped on my shoes and reached for my car keys.  My keys...where were they?  I looked under the bench and around on the floor but knew immediately that one of the two people who had left class early had accidentally grabbed my keys.  Well, crap!

I looked around on the floor outside the yoga room.  No keys.  I walked to the front desk to ask if anyone had turned in a set of car keys.  No keys.  I looked on the board where people hung their car keys.  No keys.  The gym contacted both people who said they didn't have the key.  I questioned that, thinking they didn't look hard enough.  HEY!  Someone had to have my keys.  It was at this point that frustration began to creep in.  You see, I had only grabbed my mat, water bottle and keys when I got out of my car.  Leaving behind my purse, wallet and cell phone.  I used the gym's phone to call Hubby, who was packing to leave for a trip; I hoped he hadn't left yet.  Luckily for me, he had not left yet.  Unluckily for both of us, we had lost our spare key (sigh...).

The fun really began as Hubby tried to find a way to get me a new key.  First, he had to contact On Star to unlock my vehicle for me (at this point I had been waiting for over an hour at the gym...)  We got the paper work out and called the dealership we had purchased the vehicle from in Texas.  The guy there gave us the name of someone else who could help us get a security code.  We took the code to the local GM dealership and paid a fee to get a code to have another key made (it was now two hours since I had lost my keys...).  The lock and key place closed at 1:00 but said they would stay until we got the code to them...it was 1:50 by the time we got there.  Yes, there was another fee to be paid to get this key.  THEN...we had to go back to my vehicle, put the key in the ignition and follow the directions that were given to us for 31 minutes before the car would start up.  True story.  Nobody could make this stuff up.  Seriously.

I was WAY behind schedule by this time, however, there were still things I HAD to do.  I made my run to the post office and grocery store and decided I would go ahead and stop to have my nails done.  I deserved this treat after all, didn't I?  There wasn't many cars there; it was cold and rainy.  What crazy person would be out in this weather anyway?!  I was shown to my pedicure chair, sunk my frozen feet in the hot water and pulled out my Kindle to read, relax and unwind a bit (it was after 3:00 by this time...).  That's when the lady next to me pulled out her cell phone, while chomping on ice very loudly (a pet peeve of mine...) and began to have an even louder conversation with someone she was obviously irritated with (Why me?  Why me?  WHY ME?!).  I continued to read and hoped the phone conversation would end soon.  It did.  And then she proceeded to explain to me (yes, me... who was clearly reading a book) who she was talking to and what her complaint was with them.  I was happy when she left to get her eyebrows waxed.  Again, true story continued.  Nobody...I mean NOBODY can make this stuff up.

At the end of the day, while wondering if there would be a full moon tonight (surely there would be...), Hubby called to asked if I had calmed down from the key incident yet.  "Sure", I said.  He asked whose fault it was that the keys had gotten taken.  I knew he wanted me to admit that it was my fault since I had laid them down on the bench.  At this point there was no way I was gonna take the blame for that.  I said, "That lady who picked up my keys."  He replied, (with a sigh and I'm sure a good bit of eye rolling...) "It's OK, I know who I'm married to."  I asked what he meant by that.  That's when he informed me that life was always a surprise and always exciting with me and he had gotten used to not knowing what to expect "Living in Wonderland" with me.  Hmmm...I had to think about that.  Perhaps I DID live in Wonderland.  He seemed to think that this day merely added to all the other crazy stories we had collected over the years...in Wonderland.  I could have done without the story today.  Seriously.  And I would still like to have my key clicker back since every time I use the key to open my door now the lights flash and the horn starts beeping.  True story...Yep!


I Built A BETTER PUMPKIN PIE For Thanksgiving!

Along with my mom's "Famous Cornbread Dressing" I made for Thanksgiving, I also tried out a new pumpkin pie recipe I found prior to the holiday season:  A new version of PUMPKIN PIE!

The PUMPKIN PIE recipe came from the torn pages of a magazine I was reading.  Tucked onto the very last page, I scanned the ingredients and the immediately knew that I had to try this new version of an old recipe.

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs from 9 crackers (I used 18)
3 Tbs. sugar (I used 6)
3 Tbs. vegetable oil (I used 6)
1 15-oz can pure pumpkin
3/4 cup well-stirred coconut milk
2 large eggs
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg (I couldn't find fresh so I just used my ground nutmeg)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Top with whipped cream (1 pint heavy whipping cream and 1/2 cup sugar beat together in mixer)

FIRST, Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

         You need to get your crust ready for this pie first by crushing up the graham crackers.
After mixing the graham crackers, sugar and oil together, press them down with your fingers into a pie plate, place in the 350 degree oven and bake until golden brown; about 12-15 minutes.
When you take your crust out of the oven, place it on a rack to cool while you are preparing your other ingredients.  You want it to completely cool before adding the filling.
Next, prepare your fresh ginger for grating and mix it along with your pumpkin, coconut milk, eggs, brown sugar, salt and other spices into a large bowl and whisk the mixture together.
Now, if your pie shell is completely cooled, pour your pumpkin mixture into it and place it in the oven for about 45-60 minutes (I like to check mine at 45 mins. and go from there.).  You should bake the pie until it is set, except in the center and crust is brown.
When you take the pie out of the oven, let it cool completely on a wire rack.  Then you can either cover it and put in the refrigerator over night or if you are serving it right away, mix up that whipped cream and spread over the top.

There was only one word for this pie...YUMMY!  The recipe said the things that made this pie great was the mixture of the canned pure pumpkin, fresh ginger, graham crackers, coconut milk and fresh nutmeg.  Those things are what actually drew me to this recipe.  When Hubby took a bite, I could tell by the look on his face that he LOVED it!  He said it was the closest thing to his childhood sitter's homemade gingerbread cookies he had ever tasted (and he has looked for THAT recipe for YEARS...).  I think it is the combination of those spices, combined with the coconut milk and graham crackers that just make the flavor POP!  This recipe is definitely a "Keeper" for years to come.  HEY!  It's not too late for you to try it too...Christmas Dinner is coming up!


A Christmas Gift To Myself...

Everyone who knows me, knows that the holiday season is my absolute favorite time of year.  The weather finally cools off a bit here in the south, the leaves begin to fall by Thanksgiving, decorations start to go up and the air smells of all good things.  This season, even with all of its busyness, brings joy and happiness out in people like no other time of year.  And I am one of those people who attempts to savor each and every moment.  That is why I like to give myself a Christmas gift each year at this time.

Now, don't think I'm actually buying myself something, wrapping it and placing it beneath the tree.  I give myself the gift of a few things that bring peace to my days and put a smile on my face during the holiday season.  One thing I started doing a year ago was to unplug from the news channels during this time of year.  I just  don't want to fill my mind with the worries of the world during this month.  Call me silly or ridiculous but I just don't want negativity invading my holiday spirit and could truly care less if the world crumbles beneath me during this time; it is my time, a gift to myself.  The other gifts I like to shower myself with are mushy, sappy, always happy ending Christmas movies.  And thankfully, the Hallmark Channel has been very obliging by providing me with a HUGE daily dose of those.  The other, is Christmas novels that make me think about the Christmas spirit and true meaning of this holiday.  I have a collection that I have read and enjoyed throughout the years that I like to display and thumb through each year.

To wake up in the morning and turn on a Christmas movie while sipping my coffee in front of a blazing fire just sets my mood for the day.  And if I have to leave the house, I make sure I have all of my Christmas CD's in my vehicle so I can continue to soak up all of the Christmas season there is to have out there.  The REALLY good things in life cannot be purchased with money.   
        Slow down and take a minute (or two or three..) to soak up and enjoy this blessed season.
                                                           MERRY CHRISTMAS!