Pragmatic Compendium

inspiring the pragmatic practice of intimacy with Christ

“. . . therefore I quote” Abraham Lincoln

I read, therefore I quote.

“I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and also those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers . . .

. . . and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.”

Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln’s 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation

“. . . therefore I quote” Thursday: If you have a quote to share from something you’ve read recently, feel free to comment and/or include a link to your own “quote” post.

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November 27, 2008 Posted by | books | | Leave a comment

mom’s pumpkins soup, revisited.

In honor of Thanksgiving and my mother-in-law, I’m highlighting a past post for Kitchen Tip Tuesday and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday:

Mom’s Pumpkin Soup

Although we used “real” pumpkin for our jack-o-bread recipe, we use canned pumpkin for this. It’s much smoother – not so . . . grainy, if you know what I mean.

Find great recipes and helpful kitchen tips at Kitchen Tip Tuesdays hosted by Tammy’s Recipes!

And click on over to check out the recipes at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday hosted by Lisa at Blessed With Grace

November 24, 2008 Posted by | recipes | , , , , | 4 Comments

sorry ladies, he’s taken.

Perusing Craigslist today and ran across the “Outback “Porta Privy

Me: “Outback Porta-Privy. It’s a pop up tent so you can have some privacy when you are camping.”

FirstHusband: “What? Do you just go on the ground?”

Me: “No. I’m thinking you put a porta-potty in there.”


FirstHusband: “See, now that’s why women will never rule the world. They can’t pee standing up.”

Me: “Can I quote you on that?”

FirstHusband: “Sure, you can even put in in a “therefore I quote” post.”

Me: “Those are only book quotes.”

FirstHusband: “I can write it down.”

Then there was rolling of eyes.

November 22, 2008 Posted by | laugh!, till death | , | 6 Comments

Then Sings My Soul Saturday – a little Satchmo.

It’s just not Thanksgiving without this song. It’s tradition for me.

And it HAS to be Louie Armstrong.

For more Saturday music, check out Then Sings My Soul Saturday every Saturday hosted by Amy at Signs, Miracles and Wonders.

November 22, 2008 Posted by | music, traditions, youtube | , , | 6 Comments

turkey thawing innovation.

Kim over at Friday Funnies made me LAUGH OUT LOUD today. (“LOL” was just not enough.)

I did a little you tube search and found these. I didn’t laugh out loud, but they are funny, nonetheless. In an “ewwww” kind of way.

November 21, 2008 Posted by | laugh! | 4 Comments

Would You Like Chocolate With That? a little joke.

This is one of my favorites:

A preacher visits an elderly woman from his congregation. As he sits on the couch he notices a large bowl of peanuts on the coffee table.

“Mind if I have a few?” he asks.

“Not at all.”

They chat for an hour and as the preacher stands to leave, he realizes that instead of eating just a few peanuts, he emptied most of the bowl.

“I’m so sorry! I ate all your peanuts!”

“Oh that’s all right,” the woman says. “Ever since I lost my teeth, all I can do is suck the chocolate off them anyway.”


If you have anything chocolaty to share, post and link to Would You Like Chocolate With That? hosted by Lisa at Stop and Smell the Chocolate!

Need a few more chuckles today? Check out Friday Funnies hosted by Homesteaders Heart!

November 21, 2008 Posted by | chocolate, laugh! | , , | 6 Comments

little of this. little of that.

Random Thought #1: Both my children have fallen off the chore band wagon. I’m not sure what happened, but we are all flippin’ exhausted, so I’m thinking we need a major schedule review. Our color coded calendar is starting to look like a rainbow for November and December. I must stop the madness.

Random Thoughts #2: Last Thursday was a “casual” day for PinkGirl. I dropped her off at school, she walked right past the principle and about 5 other teachers, cheerfully greeting them all. I assumed that, when they returned the greeting, they saw her. Silly me. An hour and a half later, the phone rings and this little voice says:

“Mommy, I need different pants. My shorts are too shorty short.”

I didn’t think so, but I drove to school with jeans for her. Then I had to turn around and go back with a belt because she is so skinny, the jeans wouldn’t stay up and the band of her underwear showed in the back when she sat down.

Random Thought #3: We’ve started putting up some of our Christmas decorations. I’d like to blame Memorie Lane, but I take full responsibility. Right now, there are numerous musical characters lining my stairs. Santa Scooby Doo is the only motion sensor character and I turned his butt off. Literally. His on/off switch is on his butt. All the other characters have a button to push or a paw to squeeze. PinkGirl’s current favorite is the dancing chick. I just have one question. How is the Chicken Dance a Christmas song?


Random Thoughts #4: I had my first facial and I broke out within 48 hours – for the first time in, I don’t know – ever. What’s the deal with that? And what are the benefits of the “pumpkin and yam enzyme” goo that was spread all over my face? My skin smelled like Thanksgiving. My few and far between spa dollars are better spent on massage. I’ll do my own facials.

November 21, 2008 Posted by | family, poor me some whine, women | | 2 Comments

“. . . therefore I quote” Gail Godwin

I read, therefore I quote.

Today’s quote is from The Wit and Wisdom of Women

“At times . . . one is downright thankful for the self-absorption of other people.”

I love it when self-absorbed people ignore me. Such a relief.

Yesterday I got a cranky stranger to ignore me. He had started talking to me – actually, he had started giving me unsolicited life instructions contrary to my current choices (which he found silly).

After my weight training session, I went into the sauna to stretch. Two older “gentlemen” were in there, complaining VERY intensely about the facility. The whirlpool wasn’t hot and that led to a plethora of additional complaints and insults about management. One of the whiners left, the other stayed and started talking to me. “On a cold day like today, the whirlpool would feel great . . . blah, blah, complain, whine, whine . . . ”

This whole time I’m thinking: “shhhh.”

okay. I was really thinking: “shut. up. This is my quiet time. Or at the very least, it’s YOUR quiet time.”

Anyway. He asked me some question that led to me telling him that I worked out with a personal trainer and there he went. Loud and animated: “You don’t need a trainer! You just pay attention, watch what they do, learn . . . . ”

And whatever he said after that, I really wasn’t listening. As I was wrapping my fingertips around the bottom of my foot (something I probably haven’t done since I was PinkGirl’s age), I debated. For about a fraction of a second. Do I really want to enter into a conversation with this man? Or do I just want to challenge him to a 30 second wall squat and be done with it? Or maybe a lung walk across the parking lot? Cause he would stop talking then.

But NO. That would be mean. So when he paused to take a breath, I was ready. Knowing he would view me as stupid and (hopefully) not worth his time, I said, “I just like it.”

And he had NOTHIN. ha!

There was silence. Peaceful, sauna silence.

Then he baited me, “Well, I guess some people just need that attention.”

But I had already decided that I wanted him to ignore me, so I replied, “That’s one way to put it.” and reached for the bottom of my other foot.

He sat there, in silence, for nearly 10 minutes. Finally leaving . . .

. . . me in peaceful sauna silence.

“. . . therefore I quote” Thursday: If you have a quote to share from something you’ve read recently, feel free to comment and/or include a link to your own “quote” post.

Need help making your link look pretty in the comment? Copy and use <a

November 20, 2008 Posted by | books, therefore I quote | , , , | 2 Comments

Healthy, Stealthy Paella

(Ghostwritten – and “ghostphotographed” – by FirstHusband, finalized by the freakish perfectionist. This recipe is another of FirstHusband’s inventions.)

FavoriteSon isn’t a big fan of veggies. When he orders food it goes something like this . . .

“I’ll have a Baconator but no lettuce, tomato or any other vegetables.”
“I’ll have a super burrito supreme but no tomatoes, lettuce, onions . . . or any other vegetables.”
“I’ll have a toasted meatball sub with provolone cheese>” (Nice Sandwich Man: What veggies would you like with that?) Ha, Ha, Ha . . .

You get the picture. FavoriteSon has two weaknesses, sausage and seafood. Healthy, Stealthy Paella plays on both of those weaknesses to sneak some vegetables into his diet. Our approach is to make two batches of Paella, one for the grownups with overt vegetables and a second batch just for the kids with the covert vegetables.

Here’s how it works.

2 10-oz packages of Virgo yellow rice (or any rice – as long as the rice is not instant)
2 cans black beans (o.k. if you zoom in enough on the picture, you will see one can of black beans and one can of pinto beans. The recipe really did have two cans of black beans and now we have a can of pinto beans in a square container in the refrigerator)
1 can mushroom stems and pieces
1 can tomatoes
1 package sausage (if you are feeling adventurous, you can replace the sausage with “Dried Canary”)
1 24-oz bag of salad shrimp (you can use other shrimp but the salad shrimp come with tail off and don’t need to be cut down any
7 medium squash (or Stealth vegetables if you prefer that name)
Cajun Spice to taste


Start by lining two 9″x12″ pans with aluminum foil. Add rice and the amount of water given in the directions for the rice. For the grown-up’s paella, we drain the water from the can of tomatoes and add additional water as needed.


Add 1 can of black beans, tomatoes, and mushrooms to each pan. We leave the tomatoes and mushrooms out of the kid’s pan.

Slice the squash and place into a food processor.


Finely mince the squash.


Add to the pans of paella. The kids get more squash than the adults to make up for the lack of overt vegetables.


Stir each pan.


Add half the shrimp to each pan. Slice the sausage into bite sized pieces and add half to each pan. Add hot sauce and cajun spice to taste. The kids only get enough spice to add a little flavor with no real kick.



Stir once more to mix all the ingredients thoroughly and fold foil over to seal in the moisture.



Place into oven preheated to 425°F.

Cook until all of the water is absorbed into the rice. We cooked the kid’s batch just over one hour.


The adult’s batch with the extra vegetables took one hour and 45 minutes.



FavoriteSon and scarfs it up and never suspects. It’s a good thing he doesn’t read this blog.

(Preparation time: 30 minutes, Cook time: 1 hr to 1 hr 45 minutes)

Find great recipes and helpful kitchen tips at Kitchen Tip Tuesdays hosted by Tammy’s Recipes!

And click on over to check out the recipes at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday hosted by Lisa at Blessed With Grace

This recipe works for us! Want to learn “what works” for lots of different people? Click on over to Works for Me Wednesday hosted by Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer!

November 18, 2008 Posted by | health, pragmatic parenting, recipes | , | 8 Comments

If you ask a Pappy for some foam core . . .

PinkGirl wrote a Thanksgiving play. She typed it all by herself. (With her fingers on the “home” keys, of course.) She took it to school and showed her teacher, who suggested it be performed at “Colonial Day” on Wednesday. PinkGirl, the director, promptly gave out lines and directed rehersal at the end of the day, just before car line. Everyone who wanted a line, got a line.

PinkGirl decided she needed the Mayflower, so on Friday, after school, I called my dad, a retired graphic artist, to ask if we could have a piece of foam core. You can’t just ask my dad for foam core. The situation plays out like the book “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.”

If you ask Pappy for a piece of foam core, he’s going to ask you why you need it.

When you tell him you want to make a boat, he’ll offer to cut it out for you.

When he cuts out a boat shape, he’ll go ahead and paint it brown.

When he paints it brown, he’ll have to paint planks on it.

When he paints the planks, he’ll realize there will need to be port holes.

After he paints the port holes, he’ll go ahead and make waves to go along the bottom of the boat.

When he paints the waves, he’ll have to make a mast too.

And of course, when he makes a mast, he’ll have to add a flag.

If he makes a flag, he’ll have to make it look like it’s waving.

And when he gives you the foam core, it will look like this:



PinkGirl woke me up this morning with “MOM! Get up! I have to see the Mayflower!” She came downstairs, silently walked over to the Mayflower sitting in my living room and reached out to touch it. I heard her quietly say, “Pappy is AMAZING!”

She took some time, touching it, looking at it, getting “in” it. Then she asked, “How long did it take Pappy to do this?”

Me: “All day.”

PinkGirl. “He did this in only ONE day!?” (pause) “He should be famous. He should be in books and stuff. I mean really, do we know ANYONE who can do this? ANYONE?”

Me: “You’re going to need a BIG thank you for this one.”

PinkGirl: “A card is WAY. too. small. There’s going to be a GIFT.”


Pappy did leave the port holes and windows unpainted and gave us some paint so PinkGirl could finish it off herself. But he was kind of bummed that he didn’t have time to add an anchor.

I already told him that PinkGirl would be writing a Christmas play.

November 16, 2008 Posted by | books, family | 4 Comments


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