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Author: Sally Jadlow

Sally is an award-winning author and likes to write historical fiction, poetry and short stories. She teaches creative writing and serves as a chaplain to corporations in the greater Kansas City area. Sally is the wife of one, mother of four and grandmother of fourteen.
Hearing Voices

Hearing Voices

We recently left a cruise ship. It’s a long, but very organized process. Each room is assigned to a group number when the passengers arrive. When the ship has docked the final time, each group is to gather in the theatre area until your number is called. You may wait an hour or two, depending on how the disembarking is flowing.

As I sat there I watched people. A certain TV station blared on the large screens. Most watched mindlessly, as the talking heads blathered on about a certain subject. Everyone in listening distance was being spoon-fed that station’s dose of propaganda.

Our country is so divided at this point. A lot of the opinions are formed by what we see and hear on TV. Jesus was right. We are like sheep, following the voice we hear.

I wonder how things would be different if people spoke only after listening to Jesus’ voice first.


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Southwest Chicken Chili

Southwest Chicken Chili

One good thing about winter–soup. There’s nothing better than to come in from frigid frost to an aroma of a hot dish ready to eat.

This recipe calls for a crock pot. I prefer it cooked slow in an iron skillet. Either way, it’s delicious.

Southwest Black Bean Chicken Soup


  • 1 pound cooked chicken
  • 3 (15.5 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 2 (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chili peppers
  • 1 (15.25 ounce) can whole kernel corn
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped jalapeno peppers


  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, or to taste


Place chicken, black beans, chicken broth, tomatoes with green chili peppers, corn, onion, jalapeno peppers, garlic, chili powder, red pepper flakes, cumin, coriander, salt, and black pepper in a slow cooker; cook on Low for 8 hours. Serve with about 1 tablespoon sour cream on each serving.



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Tiptoe Through the Turnips

Tiptoe Through the Turnips

Recently we hosted our annual family picnic at our farm. We always pick pumpkins and any other produce on a hayride through nearby fields after a hearty lunch of hot dogs and delicious sides.

This year Vic planted turnips. Most in the guests didn’t know what they were or what they tasted like. Our dear ancestor, Lucy, could have told them. In 1890 that’s all she and her children had to eat after a killing drought and prairie fire consumed the rest of their crops in Oklahoma. Turnips were the only crop which survived. The locals dubbed that year, “The Year of the Turnip.”

If the government hadn’t sent trainloads of wheat seed, a great number of the population of the Oklahoma Territory would have starved. (To read about the circumstances, read The Late Sooner.)

Just in case you don’t have a turnip recipe handy, I’ll include one for you.

Turnip Casserole


  • 2 Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and sliced 1/8-inch thick with peel
  • 1 turnip, peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • 1 rutabaga, peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • 1 small celery root, peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • salt, to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter


  • 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the vegetables, and cook uncovered for 3 minutes. Drain in a colander, then immediately immerse in ice water for several minutes until cold to stop the cooking process. Once the vegetables are cold, drain well, and set aside.
  3. Cook garlic and butter in a large skillet over medium heat until garlic starts sizzling, about 3 minutes.
  4. Stir in chicken broth, heavy cream, thyme, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper; cook until mixture begins to simmer, about 5 minutes.
  5. Coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with olive oil and spread vegetables evenly over the oil.
  6. Pour broth and cream mixture over vegetables and top with half of the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
  7. Cover baking dish loosely with aluminum foil, place on a baking sheet, and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes.
  8. Remove baking dish from the oven and top with remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano. Bake uncovered until vegetables are browned, bubbling, and tender, about an additional 30 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and let rest for 20 minutes.

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A Kansan in New York

A Kansan in New York

Recently my husband, Vic and son, Josh along with Vic’s sister, Karen and her husband, Doug,  visited New York. The rest of our party had never been there before. The city now contains over eight and a half million people.

Our sight-seeing bus ride which was to take an hour around lower Manhattan lasted two and a half hours. Streets jammed with stalled traffic. Sidewalks were almost impassable. Fire truck and ambulance sirens competed with the middle-eastern songs blaring from the sidewalk hot dog and pretzel stands. Each section of the city had its own unique aroma from the rapidly growing Chinese area to the Italian. Tall buildings blocked the warm sunshine. Meanwhile, the bus tour guide kept up a steady stream of information about passing points of interest and made lame jokes about our President.


The next day Doug wanted to see Central Park and the Empire State Building so we chose to walk because it was faster. After breakfast at a diner and a fast-paced jaunt through crowded sidewalks under scaffolding in almost every block, we arrived at Columbus Circle. Passing the horses and carriages on the south side of Central Park, we entered at the south-east entrance.

We hadn’t gone more than a half block when it hit me. It was as if we had entered another realm. People sauntered along the paved walkways. The raucous sounds of the city disappeared along with the exhaust fumes. A squirrel gathered nuts and ducks floated aimlessly on the pond near an arched stone bridge. A little Chinese man sat on a rock as he bowed a pleasant tune on one string strung on a croquet mallet.


All too soon we had to make our way back into the jangling jumble of people in order to allow enough time to walk to the Empire State Building for a skyscraper scan of the city.

After standing in several lines and a trip up a few stories we stood in another line to buy a ticket to the top. For a mere $102 for two senior tickets, we got to stand in more lines and ride more elevators for the precious privilege of a top-of-the-tower view. That’s a far cry from the quarter I paid to look from the same point sixty-five years ago. From there today, Central Park looked like a tiny island of green in the midst of a concrete jungle.

What eight-and-a half million people see in that place, I’ll never understand. I’m with Dorothy. There’s no place like home.

The Signs of the Times

The Signs of the Times

I don’t know about you, but I don’t spend a lot of time in the Old Testament book of Judges. Perhaps we should. I ran across this scripture the other day. You know when the Lord wants you to see something, how it kind of jumps off the page at you? That’s what this scripture did. It was a day or two after the nut job killed those fifty people in Las Vegas. See if these words stick to you like it did to me.

Judges 2:13-16  “So they forsook the Lord and served Baal and the Ashtaroth. And the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and He gave them into the hands of plunderers who plundered them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies around them so they could no longer stand before their enemies . . . they were severely distressed. Then the Lord raised up judges who delivered them from the hands of those who plundered them.”

When that judge died, they flopped right back into evil; into sacrificing babies to these foreign gods; into idol worship. That’s what the book of Judges is all about. I wonder if God isn’t trying to get our attention with all the hurricanes, earthquakes, and slaughter. Perhaps we should ask Him to show us what we need to repent of while there is still time.



When I drove by a local church recently the words on their message board read, “Put God on Your Calendar.”

For me, that statement went down sideways. It was like saying God was an add-on—something you must remember to do. In my thinking God is so much more than an item on my calendar or a line on a “to do” list.

Since I’m a writer, rewrites are always a part of the process, so my writer brain kicked into high gear. My rewrite might read, “Let God BE Your Calendar.”

I read a devotional recently in New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp. He asks the question, “Do you want the Prozac Jesus, who will make you feel better? He will be only your sovereign Savior King.”

Jesus is so much more than most of us let Him be. Here is a few things Jesus is:

  • Our Righteous Judge
  • The Merciful One
  • The Most High One
  • The Almighty One
  • Our Provider
  • Our Healer
  • The One Who Makes Us Holy
  • The Jealous One
  • Our Shield
  • Our Peace
  • Our Rock
  • The Eternal King
  • Our Deliverer
  • Our Savior
  • Our Shepherd
  • Our Creator
  • Our Redeemer
  • Our Light
  • Our Fortress
  • Our Righteousness
  • The Present One
  • Our Father
  • The First and the Last

Surrender your total life to Jesus. Let God be all to you He came, died, and rose again to be. Only then will He BE your calendar.

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Predicting Winter Weather

Predicting Winter Weather


Ever wonder what the weather will be this winter? Check the inside of a persimmon seed, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac.






Cut open a persimmon seed. (The fruit should be locally-grown to reflect your weather. A ripe seed works best.)

Image from

Look at the shape of the kernel inside.

  • If the kernel is spoon-shaped, lots of heavy, wet snow will fall. Spoon = shovel!
  • If it is fork-shaped, you can expect powdery, light snow and a mild winter.
  • If the kernel is knife-shaped, expect to be “cut” by icy, cutting winds. It will be bitterly cold.

Here’s a close-up of a spoon. Get out the shovel!

Persimmon Seed Split Open
Photo credit: Tammie Dooley/

That’s it! Now, cut open a persimmon and tell us what you see. (The answer depends on where you live.)

Another favorite tradition for predicting winter weather is to use a woolly bear caterpillar.

Or, check out how The Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts the weather!


Persimmons have a unique fall flavor that is similar to pumpkin. Most persimmons are the “hachiya” variety. The fruit is very tart so it’s often considered a baking fruit, adding its sweet flavor and moistness to pudding, bread, and pie. Persimmons can also be made into dried fruit, jam, ice cream, and even alcohol.

A ripe persimmon has a “squishy” body and a creamy texture. Ripen persimmons at room temperature. Place in a paper bag to speed up ripening.

Persimmon Pudding

Persimmon pudding is a baked dessert with the taste of pumpkin and the texture of gingerbread.  This persimmon pudding recipe is from the “Indiana Nut Growers Cookbook” (1995), courtesy of the Indiana Nutgrowers Association.


2 Cups persimmon pulp
2 Cups sugar
3 small eggs
½ stick (4 Tablespoons) margarine
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ Cup buttermilk
1-¾ Cups sweet cream (or milk)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons additional persimmon pulp
1-¾ Cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder


  1. Mix together the persimmon pulp, sugar and eggs.
  2. Mix baking soda with buttermilk and add to mixture in bowl.
  3. Melt margarine in baking pan and add to mixture.
  4. Sift flour and baking powder together and add alternately with cream or milk.  Add cinnamon and mix well.
  5. Fold in the additional 2 Tablespoons persimmon pulp.
  6. Pour into 13 x 9-inch metal pan and bake at 350 °F for 55-60 minutes.  Be careful not to over bake.

Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and enjoy!


Every September, the city of Mitchell, Indiana, hosts the Persimmon Festival. Their persimmon pudding is famous!


This Persimmon Bread recipe comes courtesy of The Old Farmer’s Almanac Readers’ Best Recipes cookbook!

Have you ever used this prediction to forecast weather? What are some other means of prediction you have heard of?

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Zucchini Lasagna

Zucchini Lasagna

Once zucchini gets going it doesn’t know how to stop. Here’s a way to use about seven of them and lower carbs at the same time. This recipe freezes well for a quick dinner on a rushed day.

Lasagna with Zucchini


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick strips.
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking dish.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef until evenly brown. Drain juices. Mix the onion, green bell pepper, carrots, garlic, and tomato sauce into the skillet. Season with oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
  3. In the bottom of the prepared baking dish, layer 1/2 the zucchini strips. In a bowl, beat together the cottage cheese and egg, and spread over the zucchini. Scoop 1/2 the beef mixture over the cottage cheese and egg mixture, and sprinkle with 1/2 the mozzarella cheese. Layer with remaining zucchini, beef mixture, and mozzarella. Top with Parmesan cheese.
  4. Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow to sit 10 minutes before slicing to serve.

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A Note From A Reader

A Note From A Reader

A writer loves to hear from their readers, and I’m no exception.

When I was at the Christian Writers Conference in Fort Scott recently, I met a new friend, Maranatha. She bought one of my God’s Little Miracle Books to use as a devotional to start the day with her homeschooled kids.

I received an email from her recently which read:

Dear Sally,

I just wanted to pop in and say your first book on miracles is proving to be a real blessing to our little homeschool.  We are only on page 30, but the length and content of these little gems are priceless to the developing faith of our young ones!  Thanks so much for making it available!

In Him,

Notes like these make all the long hours of solitary work worth it. Do you know someone who could use an Amazon review of their book, or a note of encouragement?

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Dad’s Games

Dad’s Games

Dad constantly made something out of nothing. He loved anything to do with flying—even kites. Each March he caught the bug to build new ones. Since our front yard was about 18 acres, it was a perfect place to fly them.

He’d carefully choose thin sticks, lashed them together into a cross and notched all the ends. He’d use thin string to fit into the notches and tie it together at the bottom end.

We glued pieces of newspaper together for the body. When the glue dried we laid the kite on the paper and carefully cut the paper a little larger than the string. The next step was to glue the paper edge over the string. Waiting was the hardest part.

When the glue finally dried, we attached long strips of old sheets to the bottom for a tail. Dad tied a ball of heavy string to the top three corners of our kite. At the first hint of wind we were in business.

Now, we buy flimsy kites at the Dollar Store that last just about long enough to get them home. I always thought half of the fun was time spent with Dad in the construction phase.

When things got a little dull, Dad took a circle of string long enough to wind once around each hand and pull the string tight. With his middle fingers he caught the string looped in his palm with the opposite hand, then shoved his index finger and thumb down through the string to make what he called a cat’s cradle. This is a similar idea.

He had a way to take several sheets of newspaper, lay the sheets atop one another and roll the outside edges to the middle in a tight roll. He notched the rolls every few inches up the length of the paper. Then he licked his thumb and forefinger and pulled the top of each roll to make a Jacob’s ladder. The YOUTube video gives you an idea. This ladder is similar but not exactly the same.

What games do you remember playing as a child?

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