Monday, February 27, 2012

Dirt Muffins for Monday's Munchies

Many of us are wonderful cooks and generous about sharing our recipes. Mondays are for "make it happen" people. What could be a better way to encourage each other and create than to share what is going on in our kitchens.

Delicious Treats

Last year a group of students in one of my classes at a local community college in Dallas started the delicious tradition of bringing treats for our break. On the last day of class we were talking about how we would miss these excellent treats and someone came up with the idea of sharing them on the blog which is where "Monday's Munchies" got its start.

This week we are bringing back that great idea. Today we will feature "Dirt Muffins" contributed to us by Patti Berry. Patti is a marvelous cook. She has worked for years in the capacity of a volunteer by taking her wonderful baked goods to a hospital near where she lives. She has a real talent for baking along with a big heart!

DIRT MUFFINS (Makes 12):

1+3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup cold butter or margarine
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/2 cup applesauce
16 filled chocolate sandwich cookies, chopped
(I always use Doublestuff Oreos)

Topping:3 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp sugar
5 cream filled chocolate sandwich cookies,
finely crushed (remember the Double stuff Oreos!)
2 Tbsp cold butter or margarine
2 squares or cubes of vanilla bark
1 Tbsp shortening

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and baking powder. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In separate small bowl, beat egg and milk and applesauce, stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Gently fold in COARSELY chopped cookies. Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full.

For topping, combine flour, sugar and finely crushed cookies. Cut in the butter until crumbly, sprinkle about 1 Tbsp over each muffin. BAKE at 400°for 15-18 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan. In a microwave, melt vanilla chips and shortening until smooth (30 seconds at a time at full power, and stir). Drizzle over cooled muffins. Makes 12 muffins.

A special thanks to Patti Berry for helping us kick off the 2012 Monday Munchies on our blog!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Installing Love

Bill Witcher will be sharing words of encouragement, inspiration and hope with you each Sunday.

Around Valentines Day I received an inspirtional email from My Daily Insights ( that I thought was very appropriate for our computer savvy students and I would like to share a portion of that email with you. It was based on an interesting concept. What if LOVE was a software program that you could install in your Heart? What would you have to do to get this very valuable program installed? Obviously, the first thing would be to call Tech Support and ask for help.

Tech Support:
Hello, how may I help you?
Customer: Well, after much thought, I've decided to install LOVE. Will you guide me though the process?
Tech Support: Yes. I would love to. Are you ready to proceed?
Customer: Well, I'm not very technical, but I think I'm ready. What do I do first?
Tech Support: The first step is to open your Heart. Have you located your Heart?
Customer: Yes, but there are several other programs running now. Is it okay to install LOVE while they are running?
Tech Support: What other programs are running?
Customer: Let's see, I have Past Hurt, Low Self-Esteem, Grudge, and Resentment running right now.
Tech Support: No problem, LOVE will gradually erase Past Hurt from your current operating system. It may remain in your permanent memory but it will no longer disrupt other programs. LOVE will eventually override Low Self-Esteem with a module of its own called High Self-Esteem. However, you have to completely turn off Grudge and Resentment. Those programs prevent LOVE from being properly installed. Can you turn those off?
Customer: I don't know how to turn them off. Can you tell me how?
Tech Support: With pleasure. Go to your start menu and turn on Forgiveness. Do this as many times as necessary until Grudge and Resentment have been completely erased.
Customer: Okay, done! Wow, LOVE has started installing itself. Is that normal?
Tech Support: Yes, but remember that you have only the base program. You need to begin sharing and connecting to other Hearts in order to get the upgrades.
Customer: Got it. Hey! My heart is filling up with new files. Smile is playing on my monitor and Peace and Contentment are copying themselves all over My Heart. Thank you for all your help.


This weeks message is a simple one. Install LOVE in your heart and start sharing it with everyone you meet. Have a blessed week. - Bill

Friday, February 24, 2012

Magical Sayulita

Traveling is a passion for many people. And if you have a camera and Photoshop skills, you can create some wonderful images.

The unique text effect you see above, and the charming collage in the image below were created in Photoshop Elements by one of my talented students, Jack Murphy. He visits Sayulita, Nayarit, Mexico often and fortunately for us takes lots of pictures!

Jack grew up in the 50's in Southern California during a time when Californians were lucky…they had the weather, the immense growth, and a melting pot of people that made everything interesting.

Jack met Jeanette, his wife, at Macy's department store in the 60's and they were fortunate to be able to travel all over the United States and Europe due to his job and just curiosity.

Back in 1999 they found Sayulita, Nayarit, Mexico and because of its beauty, weather, natural art and simpatico people they decided to purchase something they never planned on, a second home.

I asked Jack to describe this fascinating place, and he said, "Sayulita is a beautiful quaint fishing and surfing village 35 miles north of the Puerto Vallarta airport. The waves are perfect for the beginning to intermediate surfer, and during the October through May period the deepsea fishing is boiling with tuna, mahi mahi, toro and mackeral. The reason for the great fishing is Banderas Bay is one of the main breeding areas for the sperm whales. Whales need lots of feed and the tremendous amounts of sardines attract all the other fish and sea birds. After the fishing or surfing it is time for margaritas and a well earned great meal. Sayulita has it all, it is paradise.

All of our family and friends who have visited Sayulita love it. Sayulita is truly magical!”

Thanks to Jack for sharing this lovely spot with us in such a unique way

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Seeing Better on the Internet

As we come across computer tips in our online journey we will share them with you on the blog. Here is a handy little item you can use to change your screen view.

It is easy to change the size of the text you see on your webpages when you go out on the Internet.

Photobucket First, go to the Menu Bar near the top of the screen and click on View and a menu will drop down.

Photobucket Hover your mouse over the words Text Size and a smaller menu will appear.

Photobucket Now you can select the size you want. Try several of them to see what suits you. I've selected Larger as you can see in the example below.


Note: If you choose the "Largest" option, you may not be able to view everything on the webpage. To see what is on the far left and far right just click on the scroll bar at the bottom of your screen (see image below), hold the mouse button down and drag from left to right.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Internet Magic

Jane Booras is the Editor of numerous newsletters. From time to time, she will be sharing how you can find whatever you need - photos, clipart, information, maps, phone numbers - on the Internet.

One day last week when I opened the front door, I noticed a new “Yellow Pages” phone book had been delivered. It was thick and heavy, and I lugged it inside and back to the study. There I retrieved last year’s edition of the same book. Together they could easily give me a backache or help a 2-year old reach the dinner table from a dining room chair!

My intent was to replace the old one with the new one on the shelf. But suddenly I realized that, in one whole year, I haven’t once opened the yellow pages! So I hauled them BOTH to the recycle bin.


When I need to know something about something, something about anything, or anything about something or anything about anything – I go to the Internet! Google is my new best friend.

Need a phone number? Internet. Plumber? Internet. Zip Code? Internet. Map or driving directions? Internet. Possible treatments for Aunt Sally’s latest illness? Internet. Picture for a greeting card or church bulletin? Internet.

It goes on and on and a world of information is there at the tips of your fingers.


The Internet is a rich and reliable resource for (almost) anything you need to know. Besides that, it expands what you need to know by taking you to places that tell you what you didn’t know you need to know.

As we blog along in 2012, we’ll explore some of this fascinating new universe. Besides, who needs all those heavy, bulky old phone books anyway?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Don't Miss This

Dave Berry is a wonderful photographer who has kindly shared his knowledge and very special images with our blog over the years. Our post today will send you to his personal website where you can enjoy some delicious images.

Here is his story:

"My name is David Berry and I have been a photographer for about 40 years and Photography has been a lifelong passion of mine since I first picked up a camera. My journey actually started when I was 10 years old when my parents gave me a Brownie Camera. As an adult my Photo Safari has taken me all over the world including the sidelines of the USC Football Team with my longtime friend Arnold Frankel a 50 Year Team Photographer at USC.

My hard drive is filled with over 50,000 images of family, strangers, events, street life, weddings, portraits, concert images and friends. These are just my 'keepers' and over the years I have used about 30 camera's to take these shots.

See, I am a 'photo enthusiast' as well as a passionate photographer. I have been fortunate to use NIKON and LEICA Camera's to capture my passions of Wildlife, People and Landscape images along with Street Photography.

I am often asked why photography is so important to me. My immediate response is that taking pictures is just plain fun and a great creative release for my busy life. It provides a beautiful window to nature and the world. I feel my life as a Photographer has been a blessing of grace, from God.

Photographs cross barriers of age, language and culture; connecting people to one another and touching their minds and hearts. My Camera is my tool for storytelling, recording life as I see and experience it. A photograph is always looked at -- Seldom looked into. As Ansel Adams said so often 'Sometimes I feel I get to places just when God's ready to have someone click the Shutter'.

To learn more about my photographs by you can email me at or go to:

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Art and Humor of Collage

The Art and Humor of Collage

At different times over the next couple of months I will be displaying the work from my collage class along with what was created in our special effects classes.
Below is a collage that was created by Robert Westfall. Yes it is a collage--it is actually a combination of three pictures! The first image is the hand/phone that was part of a tutorial we did.

The second picture in the collage is the background behind the cameraman. That is actually a picture Bob picked up in Dinkelsbuhl, Germany on the Romantic Road.
Then of course the picture of someone taking a picture. That is a friend of ours, Ernie Eberle, who was taking a picture outside of the Community College we all frequent!

Droll, charming and fun this image creates its own reality. How fortunate I am to be associated with such a creative group of people!

Alan Alda said, "The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself."

A special thank you to Robert Westfall for being a friend of our blog!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Lion Chaser's Manifesto

Bill Witcher will be sharing words of encouragement, inspiration and hope with you each Sunday.

Our Pastor shared this with us one Sunday. It's taken from The Community Fellowship’s series of Chase the Lion adapted from Mark Batterron’s In A Pit With A Lion on a Snowy Day.

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death.
Pursue God-ordained passions.
Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention.
Keep asking questions.
Keep making mistakes.
Keep seeking God.
Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution.
Stop repeating the past and start creating the future.
Stop playing it safe and start taking risks.
Expand your horizons.
Accumulate experiences.
Consider the lilies.
Enjoy the journey.
Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can.
Live like today is the first day and last day of your life.
Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshipping what’s right with God.
Burn sinful bridges.
Blaze a new trail.
Criticize by creating.
Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks.
Don’t try to be who you’re not.
Be yourself.
Laugh at yourself.
Quit holding out.
Quit holding back.
Quit running away.
Chase the lion!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Photography Tips

Dave Berry is a wonderful photographer who has kindly shared his knowledge and very special images with our blog over the years. Our post today will send you to a great website he recommends.

Simply Spectacular !

Just when you think you have seen it all in photography, you realize there are still unique pictures being taken by some very talented photographers!

has posted it's 2011 images of the year...and they are winners!

There are some amazingly spectacular images in this collection that make you want to simply grab your camera and run out the door....Beautiful, Simply Beautiful !

What I enjoyed the most was photographers offering shooting information and comments which you will find if you click on an image as it appears in the Flash Player.

Don't miss Latest Articles and Latest Discussion Forum Topics right under the slide show.

Hope you have found these photo's as inspirational as I have....Until next week - thanks for dropping by....Meanwhile go out and HAVE FUN WITH YOUR CAMERA !

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Short Tail of Love, Understanding & Brotherhood

Hello All,

Over the past week I've been bouncing around ideas for this weeks tail. When I finally got in front of my computer all I could think about was the inspired posts by Larry, Bill and Ken. They made this Puli stop and look deep inside.

One common thought resounded between the, understanding and brotherhood. To me, Harry Gareth Edward Spaulding it translated into the importance of saying how much WE, as pets, luv and care for our human families each day.

While being a good dog is an important part of my daily is giving my best to Mum and Fischer. Besides my writing and modeling, I'm also head of security here at jagielloland. These jobs keep me busy but I stay tuned into their needs and I know when they're not feeling up to par. It's then I spring into action and help any way I can. It can be a little kiss when they least expect it or a snuggle up when we're all watching tellie. This is my way of saying how much I luv and care for them.

On the human side, Fischer and I both know how much our Mum luvs and cares for us. For no reason she'll give us treats, take us on extra long walks so we can visit with our neighborhood friends or a loving word and simple pat on the head. In Fischer's case it's a belly rub.....he goes ballistic for a good belly rub!!!

Mum keeps us healthy too and takes us to the vet for our annual check up and shots (boo). Last week we went to visit Dr. Edwards and she gave us both four paws up!!! We were pleased and so was Mum. It's this give and take of luv and caring which makes this lads life wonderful!

I hope that you will think about this the next time your pet comes play or just be close. WE are all ONE family.

Lastly, here's something to bring a smile to your face. Don't forget to share it with your pet too!

Don't forget Valentine's day is coming.....PETS luv-v-v-v holiday treats!!! Have a great week.

Cheerio y'all.
Your friend,Harry Gareth Edward Spaulding
CSS Puli-at-Large

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Caring for Others

Bill Witcher, long time contributor to our blog, will be sharing words of encouragement, inspiration and hope with you on this Sunday.

Change your Thinking and Everything Changes

How many times have you had a bad opinion about somebody that went from bad to good once you got to know them a little better? What changed? The person didn't. They're still the same person. Your attitude about that person changed. A positive attitude puts a different light on everything and everybody.

John C. Maxwell in his book Today Matters says, "One of the secrets of maintaining a good attitude is valuing people. You can't dislike people and have a good attitude at the same time. Think about it. Have you ever met anyone who always treated people badly but had a positive attitude? Likewise, you cannot have a bad attitude and encourage others at the same time. Encouraging others means helping people, looking for the best in them, and trying to bring out their positive qualities. That process drives negative thoughts right out of your head.

Your interaction with others sets the tone of your day. It's like the music of your life. When Your interaction with others is poor, it's like having to listen to cacophonous music. But when you place a high value on people and you treat them well, it's like listening to a sweet melody as you go through your day."

Walt Emerson said, "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."