Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wednesday's Word: BELIEF EXPLAINED

It's a standing joke in my family. I don't believe in dinosaurs! Why not since remains have been found? I've never interacted with a Dino to assist my belief.  Why do we believe or not believe? Our belief or "trust" system works when it is exercised.  As a baby, you inherently trust your parents to keep you safe until ... your belief system is broken. How does it break? Your parents make promises they don't keep. Let's say your Dad encourages you to jump in the pool  "I'll catch you!" You trust and jump! You plunge to the bottom of the pool coming up strangled, gasping for air and scared to death. He's laughing! Will you trust him to jump again? Probably not! If he says he'll catch you, you'll be like "Ahhh, not so sure!" You will question and distrust his intentions. Can you recall situations like this with people (hopefully not your parents) where your belief was tested? Did your trust increase or decrease when you were let down?  Keeping our word builds trust. Doing what we say we will causes folks to believe in us.

Why believe in Jesus? We can't see him. We hear about him just like the dinosaurs. We read evidence of his life in the Bible just like dinosaur bones are evidence of them. The difference in Deity and dinosaurs is the Holy Spirit.  God speaks to us and we can feel him. He can move us. We know he is real. We all have that inherent trust/belief/measure of faith we were born with. We don't have to rely on a scientist digging up bones. Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 13:5 goes on to say "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Words you can live by, trust and believe! Has Jesus ever let you down?  Has he ever broken your trust?  Go on, jump into his arms, you better believe... he'll catch you!

What's holding you back from trusting in Jesus? Do you trust him fully? Leave me a comment and let's talk.

Trusting Jesus,
The Happy Handicap

Monday, July 29, 2013

Upcycled Chandelier

from Old and Classy 

to Modern & Sassy

This is my old and classy chandelier I bought in 1981 for my dining room. She's still hangin' round! Can we say "golden"? She's a bit naked here with her bulbs and candle covers removed. Do you know what candle covers are? I had to research it to get the name of those long white things that covers the bulb holders. I won't tell if you don't!
candle covers
Spring   project   turned   into   Summer   and   maybe   Fall
Remodeling my kitchen & dining room into the 21st century!
The change demanded a bit of flavor for "Chandy". So I let her swing in a tree for an afternoon and gave her a much needed D&C. Ladies, you  know what that means (dusting and cleaning). Then, I gave her a facelift starting with a base coat of Krylon White Primer and removed some wrinkles and scars with a can of Citrus Green Krylon. 

Her step-by-step makeover...

 I dressed her up with new bulbs and her usual white candle covers. She be hangin' around again so colorful, sassy and modern! 

 I saved time and money. Upcycling is cool and fun!
Here's all you need:

What have you upcycled? Have you ever spray painted a chandy? The rest of my kitchen/dining room reveal is coming soon...prolly in the Fall!
Feeling Accomplished,
The Happy Handicap

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Are you this SPICY?

My life has gotten spicier over the years, has yours? I used to be a plain American kind of gal but now, I've got a little Latin, Italian and Asian spice in my life! I was getting so spicy I needed professional help. I was advised I must admit I have a spice problem and then and only then could I use their solution to resolve my problem.

I admit it! I have a spice problem. I kept hearing voices saying "Cumin on over here and I'll basil your head in!" Another voice said "Ginger, can't you keep those boys at Bay while I take care of this?" She replied "Yes Dill, but it's Chili out here. You get in a fight every Thyme we go out. Can't we Curry on back home now?" Something had to be done.  Enter Spice Expand-a-Drawer. (My little drama sequence, stupid huh?)


I don't know about you but I thought my spices were organized until I wanted to use one.  They fell over while sorting through them. Shot out of the cabinet at me or even worse, I would have to move every single last one of them to get to the one I wanted. NEVER FAILED! I ordered and installed an "expand-a-drawer". Problem solved. So simple and so easy!

STEP ONE: Sort your spices. Combine same spices into one bottle. You might want to discard some spices. I trashed the ones I had since like prehistoric times.  Wipe the bottles if they need cleaning. Now you're ready to install the drawer.

STEP TWO: Start with a clean drawer. No need to line the drawer with paper.

STEP THREE: This is the drawer fully expanded. It fits an 18" deep drawer and will expand from 12" to 24". My drawer was a 19" x 16". Take your drawer measurements before ordering to make sure the organizer will fit your drawer. Collapse and set into your drawer like this. Note: I used a small block of wood inserted at the back of the drawer (out of sight) to avoid the drawer moving backward. This is not a concern if your drawer is 18" deep. Mine was slightly longer at 19".

STEP FOUR: Expand on the left or right side (your choice). Begin loading your spice bottles like this.

STEP FIVE: Step back and admire your newly organized spice drawer. The challenge is to keep it looking like this! :)

The best part is the expand-a-drawer is only $17.99!

Leave me a comment and let me know if you like this idea. Whatta ya think? Got any questions about the drawer?

"Fennel-ly" organized,
The Happy Handicap

Friday, July 26, 2013

Pinterest Recipe Review: Cream Cheese Peach Pie Delight

Usually, recipes don't move me to make them. Cream Cheese Peach Pie Delight did! Is your household like mine? A comfortable nest with two old birds that eat like birds? My husband and I let a dessert ruin if I make a whole recipe, so I decided to half this one. There's a few things I did differently from the original recipe by Paula T. I'll list my changes as we walk through the making of this delicious dessert. Let's get started...

Here's what you need:

baking goods

For starters, I wanted my Cream Cheese Peach Pie Delight to be "a pie". The recipe uses a 9x13 pan but I'm using a 9" standard pie plate for two reasons; so the dessert will cut like a pie and it's just the right size of dish to hold a "half" recipe-size pie.

To make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. The recipe calls for one box of white or yellow cake mix. My genius self was going to half the cake mix, use half the butter and half an egg. Have you ever tried to half an egg? Not easy! I used a whole egg and it didn't work with half the mix so I used the entire box of cake mix with one egg and 1/3 cup butter. It should look crumbly like this.

 Prepare your pie plate with cooking spray. Pat about 1/2 to 1 cup into the bottom of the pie plate to make the crust. You will have about 1 1/2 cups crust mixture left over.

After placing your crust in the oven, dice your peaches into 1/2 inch pieces. The recipe says 1 inch but I like food bite-size!. Note: The recipe calls for a 29 oz. can of peaches. I bought two 15 oz. cans to make halving the recipe easier. I used "light syrup" peaches to count down on calories and carbs!

 Remove your crust after 10 minutes. Looks like this.

Spoon your diced peaches onto the baked crust.

Make the filling:  Mix 4 oz. room temperature cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, one tsp. vanilla flavoring and ... here's that halving the egg problem again. I got smart this time. I separated an egg and used only the white in my filling. (No yellow = less fat, less cholesterol!) Whisk together all ingredients until smooth and pour over peaches like this.

Finally, crumble 1/2 cup of the crust mixture over the pie to cover the top.

Return to the oven and bake 30 minutes on 350 degrees. Place your leftover crust mixture into an airtight plastic container to make another "half" pie next weekend. The mixture should stay fresh for 7 days.

 Look at this beauty!

The recipe said to chill 30 minutes before serving. My husband loves his food hot. He loved this hot too! I preferred mine room temperature. I fixed Steve a "to-go" piece for breakfast this his request!!! Great for breakfast, tastes a lot like coffee cake or cheese danish.

One last thing, love the earth and don't forget to recycle your paper and tin items.

Be sure to check out some of my other recipe reviews. Before you go, leave me a comment, any comment! You could let me know your enhancements to this recipe or I'd love to know if you tried it and how it turned out.

Peachy keen,
The Happy Handicap

p.s. I have no idea why my words started centering and I have no idea why I couldn't fix them back block style. I guess some days the alphabet has a mind of it's own!

p.s.s. Eight years of blogging later I know exactly how to convert centering back to block! I corrected all of it but the above paragraph. lol

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Will the Real Royal Baby Please Stand Up?

the new prince george

WOW! Look at those arms...Kate Middleton has freckles! Who knew? She is beautiful and having freckles, like most everyone else, makes her absolutely perfect! Actually, that's not what I want to share with you this morning. All this hype about the royal baby causes me to reflect on "THE REAL ROYAL BABY"...

Not to take anything away from Prince George, he does have royalty running through his veins but it makes us commoner feel a wee inadequate, wouldn't you say? Keeping it all in perspective, we can be royal too! We can't choose to become an heir to the throne of England but everyone can become a heir to the throne of Jesus! If you've accepted Jesus, you've already had your coronation day. I hope you're wearing your crown and upholding it's station well.

This happy occasion causes me to revive a blog post I wrote in April 2011 shortly after the "Royal Wedding".  I felt royal this year when I was privileged to take communion in Westminster Abbey. I hope you enjoy the short devotional after this beautiful picture of Will and Kate's Wedding. I know I enjoy the pomp and circumstance as much as anyone!

Written April 27, 2011:

The Royal Wedding seems to have taken over the media these days!  How much will the wedding cost?  What will the dress look like?  Can the dress be kept from human eye until the big day?  Everyone wants to catch a glimpse of Wills and Kate!  It is exciting and this year, 2011, is the year that a lot of people I know are getting married!  I love marriage, I have been married for 25 years!  I love weddings too!  Matthew Chapter 25 is a parable or story that compares the kingdom of heaven to ten virgins preparing for a wedding.  Five got prepared and five were unprepared when the bridegroom came for the wedding.  This story illustrates for us how it will be when Jesus returns, some will be ready and some will not be prepared.  According to the Bible, I want to encourage you to get prepared for your ultimate wedding, you are the bride and Jesus Christ is the bridegroom.  He's coming to your wedding!  You want to make sure you are adorned and ready with your wedding garments on.  How do you get ready?  Accept Christ's love and forgiveness and become clothed in His righteousness.  We may not be invited to Wills and Kate's royal wedding but we can be sure we are on the invitation list for Christ's Royal Wedding!

Already R.S.V.P.'ed,
The Happy Handicap

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

What inspires you?


Inspiration is a divine influence or action on a person believed to qualify him or her to receive and communicate sacred revelation. Another definition is the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions. That's the definition. The question is "Are you inspired?" Can your emotions be moved easily or does it take a ton truck with a wench? Last week, a pop song inspired me. Can a non-gospel song really inspire? In my heart and head...ABSOLUTELY!

Job 32:8 says "But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding." This verse explains to me that my spirit, if given understanding from God, can be inspired by anything. If I understand love with Godly knowledge, a love song can move me. Thinking about being inspired inspires me! If you're like me, I can't go but one or two days without being inspired. I feel unconnected, dull and basically useless because it's take the ability to be inspire!

Enough about me, what about you? What inspires you? What has inspired you lately? I love to get comments from you telling me you enjoy reading my writing. I pray you find something in my words that inspires you. Inspiration to love deeper, praise truer, accept more and worship daily! We can do these things everyday in praising our children, loving our neighbor and accepting diversity. Matthew 25:40 says "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto  one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." This is Jesus speaking.

     Christ is our inspiration. Let's Live Inspired!
Getting inspired,
The Happy Handicap

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Wraps and Foils

good hair
photo by

What this blog post is not. Did the title cause your mind to dream of some fantastic new hair or nail product? I must admit it crossed my mind but nope, this post is about wraps and foils you'll most likely find in your kitchen!
Plastic Wrap and Aluminum Foil

Do you have the same problem with your wraps and foil that I do? I try to stack them neatly on top of each other to have them fall in the floor or usually torpedo at me from a shelf taller than me like they've been waiting for me to open the door to yell "Ready, Aim, Fire!" I know it's a pantry conspiracy against me! You laugh but it truly is a conspiracy against me. This is how I used to organize my wrap and foil.

I used this "no-so-attractive" yet very functional organizer neatly nailed on the inside of my pantry out of everyone's eyesight but my own. Here's the conspiracy part. The hole in the roll is too small to fit this organizer anymore! I figure Reynolds is trying to save money or some such nonsense unaware they are causing me great anguish with my aluminum foil and plastic wrap. Now, Bounty on the other hand still has a hole big enough to fit the pole!

My solution to this whole small hole problem is this new kitchen wrap organizer. Only $6.99!

This is the way my foils and wraps looked in my pantry before the organizer.

This is the way it looks installed. So simple, no tools needed, just place where you want it.

This is the exquisitely organized, non-threatening way it looks now! Voila! So much easier!

So, these companies can't "holed" me down....I'll just find another way to organize. How about you? Have you completed any neat organizing projects lately? Leave me a comment and tell me all about it. I may need to put it on my project list too!

Holey organization Batman,
The Happy Handicap

Saturday, July 20, 2013

How Deep is your Love?

Ahhhh! Michael Buble's new album "To Be Loved"! Everyone wants to be loved. Sloane loves Michael Buble'. She bought the new album last week. The cover song "To Love Somebody" is a remake of the 1967 Barry Gibb song sung by The Bee Gees. Listen to it here.  Listen to it 3 or 4 times, feel it! While I was listening to his version of the song, I felt what Barry Gibb wrote  "I live and breathe for you".  My heart melted and I couldn't hold back my tears. I'm so lucky, fortunate, blessed or whatever you want to call it to have someone that I love this much and he loves me, unconditionally. I don't have to be the prettiest or skinniest woman or have the longest legs.  Know why? Because he loves me and I love him. I text him a little message  that said "You don't know what it's like to love somebody the way I love you." He sweetly replied "I feel it every day. I love you!" He always knows what to say.

This week I still pondered the song. I imagined God saying to his people, each and every one of us, individually, "You don't know what it's like to love somebody the way I love you." What a thought! Jesus lives for us and gives us breath. He so loved us that he gave his only begotten son, John 3:16. The Bible speaks of "unfeigned" love. By definition, it's a love that is genuine, sincere, honest, true, real and unaffected. Do you have love like God? A love that is so genuine, so sincere, so honest and so real that it is unaffected by circumstance, anger or selfishness? A true love? The Bible isn't talking about a romantic love but rather unfeigned love for your fellow man. Now do you have it?

Feeling loved,
The Happy Handicap

Leave me a comment and let me know you know what I'm talking about.... ;)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Meet Kathy W. Mashburn, Author of "A Birthday Clown for Archer"

This adorable clown face is on a page in Kathy's new book A Birthday Clown for Archer.  Kathy is an intriguing lady with a sweet smile and warm spirit. Kathy and I attended Murray County High School together (no dates required). We share a passion for writing, our faith and love for our families. I want you to get to know Kathy as I do and I know you'll love her too. You can buy her book by clicking the link of the title above. I'll give you Kathy's contact info later, after our interview, because I know you'll want to contact her for your own special reason.

Kathy, what or who inspired you to write?
I began writing in the fifth grade when my teacher, Mrs. Brannock, gave an assignment to keep a daily journal about something going on in our lives. Handing me a thin red spiral notebook to write in, she couldn't have known the profound impact it would have on me in years to come. That simple wire-bound notebook became a bible of sorts to me as I captured my every thoughts, ideas, and dreams inside its pages.

In high school, Dr. Peggy Quarles further inspired me to write. She ignited my passions instructing our class to again write daily journals. By then journaling had become a habit, and her renewed request caused an even greater appreciation in reading, writing, and storytelling in me. It is because of Dr. Quarles's encouragement and advice to write about anything and everything lurking behind the doors of my imagination, that I continue to keep pen and paper handy every day.

Are you a fulltime or part-time writer?

I am definitely a part-time writer, but I consider myself a writer with a fulltime commitment.  I can’t
remember a single day I have not written in my journal, or scratched out a new idea or story, or scribbled random thoughts on a napkin while dining.  Writing is a part of everything I do.  Most days I set my alarm clock to awake an hour earlier than I need to prepare for my full-time paid job.  I enjoy writing so much I keep index cards on my nightstand to write down my dreams on the occasion I am lucky enough to remember them when I wake.

Where do you draw your inspirations from?
Everywhere!  Seriously, I am inspired by so many things like people, places, my family, my friends, and news events.   I am a good listener, so I pay attention to snatches of conversations around me to get ideas.  I consider this unintentional eavesdropping because people everywhere talk openly about their lives, their pets, their jobs, etc., which often turns into a story or an idea for a project.   I also practice really looking to see things with a ‘curious eye’.   I try to see things differently than others might.

What types of writing are you interested in?
I’ve published three books in three different genres.  My first publication was How to Swap Batches of Cookies and Candy with Others, plus 115 Great Recipes.  This book came about for two reasons.  The first was to find a way to have fun on a budget with my family during Christmas holidays, while the other was to learn all I could about the world of publishing.   I had been attending workshops at a local university on writing, so I decided the best way to understand the jargon and business was to get my feet wet.

 My second publication is a fun “Madea-like” story titled Mrs. Baxter Swarms Mount Vernon High School.  She an eccentric grandma who takes things into her own hands to get to the bottom of the troubles her grandson, Norman, get’s himself into a few days before his graduation.  She is a wacky and fun lady that’s sure to have readers laughing out loud.

That brings me to the recent publication of my children’s book A Birthday Clown for Archer.  This is a simple story about a little boy who wants a clown for his birthday, but his Mom is afraid and says, “NO WAY!”   In the story Archer does his best to convince her clowns are not scary at all.  What my readers may not know is one of my children was terrified of clowns growing up.  As parents we often imprint our beliefs, our likes, our dislikes and our fears upon others.  Since writing this book, many of my readers have shared their personal phobias, including Coulrophobia or “Clown-phobia.”  This book is meant to spark conversations regarding the fears and joys surrounding clowns.

I enjoy writing in different genres just as my life has many different facets.  I am currently working on an inspirational book titled Living in the Midst of God’s Plan, a documentary titled A Day in the Life of Beekeeper, and two other children’s books titled Wiggy Wanda and Santa, Are You Ready?   Readers can learn more about these projects and others on my website.

What was your greatest “Ah-ha” moment as a writer?

By far, it is when readers turn out to see me at a book signing.  I am both honored and humbled when someone takes his or her time to visit with me.  It’s a special feeling when someone spends their money to buy my books, especially when they request me to sign it.  That’s my favorite ah-ha moment!

Any advice for others who wish to write and be published?
I would tell them to NEVER give up!  I would also tell them to do a test run by sharing their work with others, including their audience.  This will help them sharpen their skills as a writer, especially since an audience is the best frontline when it comes to gathering honest feedback.

If you would like to request an interview, schedule an appearance or speaking engagement, or arrange a book signing with Kathy, please email her at She promises to reply to all emails within 48 hours. Kathy's musings may also be found at her blog, My Writer's Corner.

Excited for a fellow writer and friend,
The Happy Handicap
Leave me a comment and let me know if you've read any of Kathy's books!

Monday, July 15, 2013

The 5th Annual Hottest Bible Study Expo

Bible Study Expo 2013
Can we call a Bible Study hot? I think so! Especially if it is FREE and includes some of the hottest women's Bible Study authors. These impressive women are published by Regal, Zondervan, Kregel, Bethany House and more! The line-up includes:

Liz Curtis Higgs
Suzanne Ellers
Elisa Morgan
Leighann McCoy
Susie Larson
Sheryl Pellatiro
Sue Edwards
Mindy Ferguson 
Carla McDougal 

The 2013 Bible Study Expo
Thursday, July 18, 2013, 12-3 PM Central Time, at
For more information about the Bible Study Expo, visit
To register for the chance to win one of the free books being given away during each interview segment, visit the Expo hub at

It's FREE (no charge)
 It's ONLINE (guests listen in by phone or web)
It's AWESOME (totally)
Study to show thyself approved (2 Timothy 2:15),
The Happy Handicap

London Day 3 - Regent's Park home of "The Queen's Garden"

Standing in line to see the Crown Jewels, we met a couple from Atlanta (go figure!).  "You shouldn't miss the Queen's Garden in Regent's Park" they said. Asking our tour guide about Regent's Park, he advised us to go to Kensington Gardens instead. Kensington is the home to the palace where Diana lived until her untimely passing. "There's a wonderful flower garden there as well" Chris said! Prepare for it.  Get ready......
flower walk
This is the "Flower Walk" in Kensington Garden. Not quite what we expected but we did enjoy a quick bike ride through the park (such a relief on our aching feet)!
Kensington Palace wasn't much to see from the outside either. We are still hoping we didn't find the gardens. The palace was under construction. Will and Kate will reside here after the birth of the royal baby. 

As for the Queen's Garden in Regent's Park, the Atlanta couple was RIGHT! We saw some of the prettiest, largest, most fragrant roses ever. Some bushes were head high! Sydnee is 5'5".

Trust me, these photos do not do the Queen's Garden justice! My Mom was astounded at the size of the roses. Some were as big around as your head! Even the trash cans looked majestic (middle pic at the bottom)! We were refreshed from the beauty of the garden and walked another five miles afterwards. No joke! This garden experience was the perfect end to our trip to London. Goodbye U.K., hello France!

Loved the fragrance wafting up my nose,
The Happy Handicap

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Ah Paris, the City of ....."Firsts"!

I'm not a greenhorn when it comes to travel. But, I must say, Paris showed me things I'd never seen before. The three days we spent in Paris was filled with a lot of "first" time experiences, starting with:

Sloane got stung by a bee. There we were, standing on an island in the middle of the streets of Paris when Sloane starting yelling "I got stung by a bee!"

Our tour guide was giving us directions and in his British accent said "That's terrible! I've never had anyone get stung on a tour before!" And then, he started laughing which cracked us all up. I said "Are you laughing?" He said "I don't mean to." "It sounds like you are" I pointed out. "Oh dear!" he said. The more he spoke and tried to clear things up his accent made things funnier!

Meanwhile, Sloane's face was turning red, her thigh was hurting and the stinger was still in her leggings. She's always apprehensive about EVERYTHING and images of having a severe allergic reaction in a foreign country whirled through her mind.

I'm happy to report she removed the stinger and no allergic reaction ensued. She's so anal she carried a first aid kit  with her on this trip which...she used!

We spent Syd's 25th birthday in the "Happiest Place on Earth" Disneyland Paris! The weather was nice and the lines were virtually non-existent. The travel time from Paris to Disneyland is 45 minutes on the Metro. Our tour director was leery of such a long commute but we're from the country, what's 30 miles? We drive that far for groceries.

About 15 minutes into the return trip, our train stops and the driver starts yelling "Everyone off, everyone off!" We are all looking around, puzzled. I noticed another train operator who smiled at me and I asked what was going on. A man threw himself in front of a train in Paris which had closed the entire subway line we were on. "First" number two!

A minor setback for getting back to the city but after some sign language, purchasing some cherries from a street vendor and praying for a taxi driver who was not a mass murderer, we arrived safely back at the Eiffel Tower in time to take a leisurely boat ride on the Seine River. Catastrophe averted!

3. We saw real live boobies! Now, of course I've seen my own and maybe some on TV but I've never seen women dancing around with their booby nipples eyeing me! The show was good, the costumes very colorful and tasteful (they wore tops some of the time). If you want to see some of the same boobies, google it! Search for "La Nouvelle Eve" images. I think the star of the show is a she-male!

4.  Disneyland Paris makes women primp! First time to see this! Lipsticks ready, aim, paint!

5. Soap Heaven! French soap too! My first time to purchase soap on the street...

6.  First time I've ever seen my aunt take a picture with her tongue licking out. Kind of reminds me of one of her Santa Gertrudis cows! lol

7. First authentic French crepe on a paper plate! Banana Nutella, yummy!

8. I enjoyed the Paris City Tour from dreamland.

Singing a foreign "Foreigner" song,
Feels like the first time,
The Happy Handicap

Leave me a comment and let me know what you've done for the first time lately! :)