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Michele Makes and Become a Sticky Mess

I have not made fudge in years but decided to make it for an upcoming potluck. Since it is just me, it is rare for me to cook or bake anything special except for family reunions and Christmas.

For family reunions, it is taco salad dip and for Christmas cherry cheesecake tarts. No more chocolate chip cookies, lasagna, or anything else that takes a lot of time. I just throw chicken or ingredients to make the Rotel cheese dip in the crockpot and that is the extent of my cooking.

So last night was quite the adventure. Stirring the syrup in with the chocolate chips and marshmallow creme was very tiring. Once I got done, I had to step outside in the snow to cool down because boy did I work up a sweat.

I  make a double batch, and it calls for a 9×13 pan, which I discovered none exist in my kitchen anymore. Where my 2 pans went I do not know. So I got out my 8×8 pans and filled 5 of them with the fudge.

Below are pictures of the different stages of making Mamie Eisenhower’s Million Dollar Fudge.   I skipped the nuts because this is a public event and I do not know who has nut allergies.

Now off to do laundry and clean up as I am one sticky mess…and so is my kitchen     😀

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christmas signatureBio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to encourage widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s used those skills while working as a call center team leader, facilitating a grief support group and helping small businesses with various writing and administrative assignments. Michele is a bookworm, lover of golden retrievers and an amateur photographer.

52 Bible Verses for a Joy Filled Year – Week 50

It’s week 50 and we are in the home stretch of this series.

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. 

Philippians 4:19 

God does supply all our needs. He recently supplied me with a roof over my head thanks to the bank and I working out an arrangement regarding my mortgage. Now, hopefully,   He keeps that need fulfilled by keeping me employed at my current job. It would be nice if He also supplied a second income.

These pictures were taken 18 months ago. God supplied the birds need for food by having people give them bread. (not sure this is the best diet for them.)

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He also supplied the Canadian goose’s need for food with an ample supply of fish in the park’s pond.

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So too, will He supply all our needs here in this world and in heaven through Christ Jesus.

 

christmas signatureBio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to encourage widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s used those skills while working as a call center team leader, facilitating a grief support group and helping small businesses with various writing and administrative assignments. Michele is a bookworm, lover of golden retrievers and an amateur photographer.

Rommie and Jewels Reunited 12/6/17

Rommie was reunited with her BFF and neighbor Jewels yesterday afternoon.

I remember the evening they first met, Rommie had Jewels’ leg in her mouth and Jewels’ was just lying there wagging her tail because she enjoyed it so much.

Whenever Jewels would get out of the house, she always came over here and I would call the neighbor’s and let them know she came over for a visit.

It seems just like yesterday that I looked through their fence and saw the neighbor’s had gotten a beagle puppy. That started Joe and I looking for dogs….and the rest is history.

Thank you, God, for Jewels.

Thank you, Jewels for the joy, love, and laughter you brought to all our lives. You are loved and missed.

To my wonderful neighbors, may God comfort you in your grief.

Love,

Michele

 

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Rommie & Jewels

 

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Rommie – 8/5/2002 – 7/31/2015                                                        Jewels – 8/8/2002 – 12/6/2017

 

 

 

 

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to encourage widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s used those skills while working as a call center team leader, facilitating a grief support group and helping small businesses with various writing and administrative assignments. Michele is a bookworm, lover of golden retrievers and an amateur photographer.

My Advent Devotional For 2017

Once again I started reading Ann Voskamp’s The Greatest Gift; Unwrapping The Full Love Story Of Christmas. This makes year number 3 or 4 and each year different words speak to me and this year is no exception.

Here are the words and phrases the spoke to my heart today as I read the introduction and the Day 1 devotion:

  • Slow and still

 

  • staying awake and not missing. 

 

  • Advent, it is made of the moments. 

The last sentence really spoke to my heart today. This is not my favorite time of the year and Joe not being here is only a teeny, tiny bit of it. The pain of December is caused by the career struggles of the past few years, of teetering on the edge of financial ruin and homelessness, of not knowing what to do to fix my career as everything I try fails.

So this December, I am forcing myself to be slow, still, stay awake so I do miss the moments of Advent. I will share my moments over on OgleOhio (my photography blog). A lot of the moments will be taken in my house or around the yard as that is where I need to be most in tune with God – right here in my house.

Because just like charity, noticing God starts at home.

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My Backyard

 

 

 

christmas signatureBio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to encourage widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s used those skills while working as a call center team leader, facilitating a grief support group and helping small businesses with various writing and administrative assignments. Michele is a bookworm, lover of golden retrievers and an amateur photographer.

 

 

Celebrating December With A Blizzard!

I went to JoyReturns today and – it was snowing.  I jumped for joy! Every year Snow Mizer makes it snow on my blog. (It’s really the folks at WordPress.) It brings me joy to see the snow every year.

It will last a month, until then it will snow 24 /  7 here on JoyReturns. For those of you who also live in Northeast Ohio, can you imagine how much snow we would have if it snowed 24/7 between now and New Years?

This Month

Besides the blizzard, here is what you will find on JoyReturns this month:

  • The wrap up of 52 Bible Verses for a Joy-Filled Year on Sunday 12/24.
  • My goal for 2018.
  • A look back at 2017 and my word of the year – Bold.
  • The return of Weekend Wisdom on Saturday 12/23. I started this series over 7 years ago after deciding I needed to publish every day but was afraid I would run out of ideas. The weekends will be poems, quotes, and/or scripture to inspire and encourage you.
  • A few other miscellaneous posts.

So stop by in-between trips to the mall or as a break from online shopping. I will serve you a virtual cup of coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or warm milk to help soothe your nerves during this chaotic time.

Special Appearance by Snow Miser and Heat Miser

video courtesy of Michael Hammer

 

christmas signatureBio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to encourage widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s used those skills while working as a call center team leader, facilitating a grief support group and helping small businesses with various writing and administrative assignments. Michele is a bookworm, lover of golden retrievers and an amateur photographer.

 

Christmas Music For The Grieving

Christmas music took on a new meaning for me after Joe’s passing in March 2008. It was something to be avoided. It no longer brought back memories of singing carols in church or when youth group went Christmas caroling. Even recent memories of Christmas services became a blurred memory.

Christmas is a time to chipper and sing joyously at the top of your lungs. I was anything but chipper that year. Especially when it comes to the  “song-which-must-not-be-named.”

So this year I Googled Christmas music for the grieving and came upon Denny Burke’s wonderful article about Steven Curtis Chapman.   After reading the article, I went to my Amazon music account and listened to some of Steven’s Christmas albums in order screen which ones would be least likely to induce a meltdown.

Here are the three I spent listening to. They are from least likely to most likely to produce a meltdown of Wicked Witch of the West proportions. (Of course, it is entirely possible that any Christmas music will reduce a grieving person to a puddle of tears.)

Christmas Hymns (2015). As the title indicates, there is nothing romantic on this album. Now if you spouses favorite Christmas hymn is on this album, then you might shed a few tears.

The Music of Christmas (1995). There is nothing romantic that will induce a meltdown of Wicked Witch of the West proportions. However, Going Home For Christmas is about a mother’s move to heaven. Precious Promise is a beautiful, tender song about Mary and Jesus’ birth and could cause some tears just depending on your mood.

Joy (2012) Recommended only if you have been a widow for at least 5 years. But be forewarned there is a romantic song entitled Christmas Kiss, that might send you over the edge. The song is definitely not for the newly grieving spouse.

These are my opinions. Every person and every grief is different. Please review the list of songs before deciding whether or not to purchase as you need to make sure the songs will not cause you to have a meltdown.

I will keep looking for Christmas music by other artists that are appropriate for grieving people.

In the meantime, please avoid the “song-which-must-not-be-named” – Have Your Self A Merry Little Christmas. 

 

(Disclosure: All links are non-affiliate.)

 

 

christmas signatureBio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to encourage widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s used those skills while working as a call center team leader, facilitating a grief support group and helping small businesses with various writing and administrative assignments. Michele is a bookworm, lover of golden retrievers and an amateur photographer.

 

52 Bible Verses for a Joy Filled Year – Week 48

Hopefully, you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are now preparing for Advent. I was blessed to spend the day with Mom and we had a terrific turkey dinner at Denny’s Restaurant. It’s just the two of us so why bother cooking?

I do not have much to say about this weeks verse. As always, may God show us how this verse applies to our lives this week.

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You will show me the way of life,
    granting me the joy of your presence and
the pleasures of living with you forever.

Psalm 16:11

(NLT)

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May you experience the joy of His presence this advent as you prepare to celebrate Jesus’ birth.

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“Manger Set”

 

 

 

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Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to encourage widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s used those skills while working as a call center team leader, facilitating a grief support group and helping small businesses with various writing and administrative assignments. Michele is a bookworm, lover of golden retrievers and an amateur photographer.

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