Posted by: bree1972 | February 17, 2010

Olio 02/17/2010

Before I became a blogger, one of my favorite ways of passing time was crossword puzzles.  When I retired, I told myself that crosswords were a good way to keep the old gray matter in my brain firing on all cyclinders, and I even read articles to that affect in AARP and Prevention magazines.  Sudoku is another brain sharpener, and I’d gotten pretty good at both crossword and sudoku puzzles – as long as they were labeled in the “any five-year-old could do this one” category.   

So when I was trying to think up a title for this post, “olio” came to mind.  Pre-crossword days, I didn’t know this word.  But it kept popping up in at least one crossword puzzle a week, meaning “hodgepodge” or “miscellaneous mixture”.  Until it became imprinted on my brain, I kept trying to spell it “oleo”, even though I knew a hodgepodge had nothing to do with imitation fat, and besides that the puzzle wouldn’t make sense if I spelled it that way. 


Free bookOne of the beauties of blogging is never knowing who you are going to hear from, once your words go spiraling out into the blogosphere. A few weeks ago, I mentioned in a post that I had finished reading Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore and recommended it highly.  A couple of days later, I received an email from the publisher of that book, thanking me for reading it and mentioning it in my blog.  This publisher (and I’m sure most publishers) had software that sends an alert if one of their books is mentioned on the Internet.  The lady who emailed also offered to send me a complimentary copy of Hall and Moore’s second book, What Difference Do It Make? for my review. Since I had planned to buy the book anyway, I emailed back that mine was not a “book review” blog, and I had simply mentioned the book because it had really touched my heart. But in all honesty, I couldn’t promise to mention the new one.  She emailed back she would like to send the book anyway, and it arrived a few days later.  I haven’t read it yet, having six or seven books lined up ahead of it – but when I do, I’ll let you know if it is a keeper. 

All that made me starting thinking about whether other companies out there had the same kind of software and would offer the same deal.  So, just in case – I mention the following:  Delta Airlines, Ford Motor Company, Bose Radio, UGG Boots, Innova Dog Food, and flat-screen TV (any brand).  I’ll let you know if this works. 

Comments from Cats:  On Tuesday, Maddie wrote the post of the day, “Maddie’s Lake Musings”.  I love to read the comments when either Bear or Maddie write, because usually commenters’ dogs write them, and they are so cute!  Yesterday, Maddie got her first cat comment.  At first she was a little annoyed when Abby from Michigan wrote, identifying with Maddie as the “long-suffering, has to take care of everything” member of her feline household, while her companion, Benny (another cat), gets all the attention.  Maddie, who is not a big fan of cats, has nevertheless become Abby’s pawpal, and they are trying to arrange a playdate on the island this summer – something about chasing Percheron horses together, while Bear and Benny sit and admire themselves.   

Blake in China:  If you’ve been reading my blogs for a while, you know that we have a son in China.  This is his fourth and possibly final year there.  Each January, his group leaves their China city for a six-week travel adventure, which includes the Chinese New Year.  The entire country virtually shuts down during this time.  Everyone goes on vacation, schools and universities close, air flights and trains are filled to capacity.  It is something they must plan for almost a year in advance, to have any hope of actually arriving where they are supposed to be at the appropriate time.  They spend two weeks in Thailand during these trips, attending conferences.  Blake has been in Cambodia this week, and I have just learned that he was ill before he arrived there, making a trip to the hospital in Thailand for meds.  I have not heard from him since he arrived in Cambodia, except for a short email a few days ago (he failed to mention he was sick, and said he was fine). I just learned all this on Facebook from someone else.  I am used to going for days without hearing from him when he is traveling like this, because he does not carry his laptop and must rely on finding Internet cafes. 

Blake starts his journey back to his home city in China tonight (Wednesday).  Please pray that this final leg of his trip is completed safely.  I hope that he is over whatever was going on healthwise, and I’m not really too concerned – just need to hear from him to put my mind at ease (I know you moms know exactly what I mean).  In July, good Lord willing, Blake will return home for at least a year.  This mother’s heart will be so filled with joy when that time comes.


Blake - on Christmas morning during a Skype video call.


Recipes:  Please don’t forget to email your Appetizer recipes to by Thursday afternoon (Feb. 18) .  I’ve only received ONE so far!  What’s up with that!



  1. Blake is ALWAYS in my daily thoughts & prayers. Can’t wait to have him back in the States & ON MACKINAC in July.
    He needs some of his momma’s cookin.

    P.S. I have NO good Appetizer recipes!!!
    Chips & Salsa

  2. Sending healthy and safe vibes to Blake. He must have some amazing stories from his travels. Come home soon Blake.

  3. I hope to get to meet Blake when he’s on Mackinac this year; and meanwhile I will pray for him–and his mama, for God’s perfect peace to dwell in her heart concerning her son. Our children are probably the HARDEST ones to put in God’s hands. As for appetizers; I’ve looked up a couple and will try to get them to you! I LOVE appetizer only parties!!!!!!

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