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9/30/10

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I love to bake from scratch, but I don't always have the time. Over the years, I've adjusted many of my recipes to allow for the time factor. While I always bake from scratch for the holidays, throughout the year I will fix some of my favorites with minor adjustments.



One of my favorite cakes in the whole world is a Texas Sheath Cake. I bake it in a jelly roll pan or as a 9 x 13 cake. The light touch of cinnamon in the chocolate cake makes the taste supreme. If you want that flavor but don't have the time to make it from scratch, here is a easy way to get the same flavor:



Buy Duncan Hines Swiss Chocolate Cake Mix (do not substitue the Swiss chocolate mix as it is the only one that has a similar taste to the Texas Sheath Cake) and mix per the directions on the box.



Add 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon to the batter and mix well. Bake per the instructions on the cake mix box.

When cake is done, fix the icing immediately so you can pour it on while the cake is still warm.

Icing

In mixing bowl, pour in 1 box of confectioner sugar and 1 tsp vanilla and sit aside

In small sauce pan, mix:
1 stick of butter
4 tbls cocoa
6 tbls milk

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly and bring to boil. Remove from heat and pour over
confectioner sugar mixture.
Beat until smooth and pour on warm cake.

Nut Option calls for 1/2 cups of chopped walnuts. I have made it with the walnuts and with pecans. Both ways are tasty. On the nuts, you can beat them in the icing or you can just sprinkle them on top after you pour the icing on the cake. If you are ever attending anything with a country/western theme, chop the nuts until they are a fine consistency and sprinkle across the top of the cake. This is the Sawdust Sheath Cake version.

Well, I'm going to go bake some chocolate chip, walnut cookies since I've made myself craving something warm from the oven.





9/29/10

I love a bargain...

I wanted to get me a new day planner. Between family, church and my job, I'm staying really busy. And with the holiday season just a couple of month away, it's gonna get worse.

So I made a run to Staples this morning since I knew they have a wide variety of what I wanted. I looked them over and finally settled on a red one like one I had years ago. I wasn't thrilled with my choice, but it was the only one I semi-liked. But it was $29.00 and I just couldn't see paying that so after debating with myself, I laid it back down and went to look at regular calendars (even though that is NOT what I wanted). There laying forlornly among the calendars was a day planner/organizer that I fell in love with it. It was marked down to $11.99 on clearance, which was more like it. I picked it up and took it up front, so pleased with my bargain.

She rang it up and said "That price can't be right." I thought, well great. The manager came up and checked and said that it did ring up correctly. She then told me it was discounted to $5.99. WOW.

I am so excited. I've got to add all my lists and things to do on the calendar now and I'll be good to go.

Call me crazy, but I know God has His hands in everything. This is just one of those daily blessings that most people take for granted. I know it is one of those moments my friend Debbie refers to as "it's not odd; it's God".
9/28/10

The Guiding Light


My sweet sister-in-law, Rob's widow, has recently taken a trip to Florida to visit the beach. I know this is a hard journey for her and her daughter to take. Rob loved the beach and their last vacation together was to the beach. She was taking some photos of  the sun setting over the Gulf. I fell in love with this picture. It's like a shaft of light guiding you to the other side.

I can't help but wonder, if this mere photo from a digital camera is this awe-inspiring, what must heaven look like? When our time comes and the gates of heaven open, what opulent beauty will we behold? I never see a sunrise or a sunset that I don't envision what heaven must be like. I don't think our human minds can ever begin to imagine what beauty awaits on the other side.

I have always loved that song "How Beautiful Heaven Must Be." I believe that the word beautiful will pale in comparison to the magnificence and opulence of that Holy City.

Tickle me Tuesday

Sometimes, things just tickle my funny bone and make me smile. My niece posted this on her Facebook and I just thought it was so cute.

Dear Yahoo,
I've never heard someone say "I dunno, let's Yahoo it". Just sayin'
Sincerely,
Google

I hope everybody has a Terrific Tuesday. Find something in your world today that tickles your funny bone and makes you smile.
9/27/10

Rainy Monday Blahs


As some of you know, our landlord had to replace the field lines on the septic system and he decided to shore of the river bank with some rock. As a result, lots of dirt left over so it was spread across the yard.

I was concerned about a huge mud hole if we got rain before they got a chance to seed it or cover it with straw. Well, we had rain yesterday and last night and it's raining again this morning. I'm happy to say that the dirt is packed nicely and so far, no large puddles.

But the rain has been steady so maybe that is why it isn't puddling. It is having a chance to seep into the ground. Of course, now that I said that, we could get one of those torrential downpours that leave a foot of water standing. :)
9/26/10

A walk down memory lane...


It's 1972 at a little country baptist church on Hash Ridge Road in Barboursville, WV. I'm 15 and I'm exhausted. We had been having revival for 6 nights. The night before, the preacher and his wife had a sleepover for all the youth at chruch. The boys had the basement and the girls slept in what was going to become the nursery in a couple of months. My friend, Linda, and I could not sleep. We wrapped our sleeping bags around us and huddled by the window and talked all night. And I mean all night. We never once laid down. We watched the sun come up. When everybody started to stir, we got up and helped Darlene cook breakfast. About noon, we all went home.

When I got home, I told Mom about my "no sleep-sleepover". I told her I was going to bed and not to wake me because I was going to skip the last night of revival. But God had other plans. About an hour before time to leave for church, I woke up and decided, I might as well go on to church since I hadn't missed a night so far and I was awake.

As usual, everyone of our youth group filled the last two rows of the right hand side of the church. When the preacher preached the message, I could feel God speaking right to me. When the altar call was given, my knees began to shake, my whole body quivered. My mind raced. Should I go to the altar, was this my chance, my time? But I was 15, shy and there were about 9 teenagers between me and the aisle. I couldn't do it, I stood still. But God had a different plan. A visitor from another church, a man named Dwight, left his seat and came back to where we stood. He got in front of me and took my hand and talked to me about God's love. The message had been about the thieves on the cross. He made a statement to me that stuck with me to this day. He said that sinners are a type of thief. They take God's love and give him nothing in return. But still I stood, shaking and silent. He went back to his seat, but his words had a major impact.

As we left the church, I made it as far as the front steps and broke down. We were shaking hands with the preacher and God laid it out for me. This was my time. This was why He woke me up in time for church. I paryed right there on those 3 little steps at the front of the church and asked Jesus into my heart. The next week I was baptized in Mud River (and yes, it earned it's name) as our small congregation looked on and sung Shall We Gather at the River. The moment is etched forever on my mind in living color. I could feel the Holy Spirit land on my shoulder that day.

Has the road been easy? No, not always. Were there times when I stumbled? Yes, many. Have I ever regretted my decision? Not for one single moment. He is my all, my love, my life. Without Him, I'm nothing. Because of that earth changing moment at that little revival up that old country road, my life has meaning and my eternity is secure.

So revivals hold a very special place in my heart. My prayer today, as our church starts its revival, is that we will see lost sinners saved, stray sheep return to the fold, and an uplifting of faith and love in God's people.
9/25/10

Modern Day Pollyanna


Hope springs eternal and optimism abounds when you develop a Pollyanna attitude about life. In the mid 60's my mom took us all to see Pollyanna at the Keith Albee. I was enthralled. Her vitality and love for life must  have made a huge impact on me. For over 50 years I have tried to emulate her love for life. What makes a Pollyanna?

A Pollyanna will look for and find the good in every situation. She doesn't let life get her down or wallow in the doldrums. She picks herself up, dusts herself off and lives. She sees the good in others and works around the quirks that drive some of us crazy. She is all happy and smiling. She knows that God took the time to provide us with over 800 "glad" passages in the bible so that we could be glad and rejoice. She is someone who will find something to rejoice in for every situation she faces in her life.

I think we all need to develop a Pollyanna attitude. For those of you who know me, you know I do not care for a "woe is me" attitude. I prefer to be positive and upbeat. Does that mean the world never gets me down? On the contrary, people aggravate me at times and I get addled and stressed just like anybody else. But I have learned to lean on Jesus and let Him worry about the world that comes at me. Once I place it at His feet, I can leave it there and go on with my life and rejoice for the good that comes my way.
9/24/10



1. If you could speak with a different accent, what would it be (i.e Australian, Scottish)?

I guess it would be formal England accent, like Royalty.

2. Can you fall asleep anywhere? (i.e floor, couch, deck)

Oh, yes. I was typing at my desk the other day and almost dozed off.

3. Do you use public restrooms? If so, do you sit on the toilet?

Have to agree with my friend Debbie on this one. I do use them and I do sit on them, but only after a wipe down or if they have the seat covers.When you gotta go, you gotta go. But

4. If you were stuck in an elevator for 24 hours, what celebrity would you most want to be stuck with?

Without a doubt George Strait and I'd make him sing to me the whole time.

5. Where did you & your significant other go on your 1st date?

To see Urban Cowboy with John Travolta and back to his place to play Backgammon.

Today is brought to you by the #5


5 Friday Facts

The use of the Gregorian calendar and its leap year system results in a small statistical anomaly, that the 13th of any month is slightly more likely to fall on a Friday than any of the other six days.

In some cultures, Friday is considered unlucky. This is particularly so in maritime circles; perhaps the most enduring sailing superstition is that it is unlucky to begin a voyage on a Friday.

The weekday Friday is named after the goddess, from the Old English frīgedæg, which is probably equivalent to the Latin dies veneris which is named for the goddess Venus.

In most countries with a five-day work week, Friday is the last workday before the weekend and is, therefore, viewed as a cause for celebration or relief .

In Saudi Arabia and Iran, however, Friday is the last day of the weekend and Saturday is the first workday.


5 Types of Friday

Good Friday
Black Friday
Casual Friday
Friday the 13th
TGI Friday's

5 Things that Freak Me Out

Lizards - gives me the shimmies just to say it

Scary movies - cannot watch them at all, can't even be in the room when they are on. 

Mice - just as bad as lizards. I am definitely a girl when it comes to mice. Hop up on a chair and scream.

Driving in the snow - that didn't bother me until after the blizzard of '93

Public speaking - I can talk to a group as long as I'm sitting down and one of them. But make me stand up and face them and it freaks me out.

5 Pet Peeves

People who think they are better than others or that thier way is the only way.

People who try to get over in traffic then don't even wave a thank you when you let them over.

Indecisiveness - Oh my gosh, make a decision already. It's not rocket science.

Rachel Ray with her EVOO and her sammies. Hey Rachel, they are SANDWICHES and it's OLIVE OIL. 

The people on Wheel of Fortune who say "I'm married to my husband". That is the dumbest remark. Who else would you be married to, your sister's husband.

5 Favorite Things

Chocolate
My books
Teapots/tea sets
Purses
Yarn

Today has been brought to you by the #5



9/23/10

Dusting Powder & Ice Tea



Mamaw Eden and Grandma Garretson were such important figures in my life. They both been gone for many years, but the memories never fade.

These are some of the things that I associate with my grandmother's that keeps my memories alive.

African Violets
Ice Tea
Dove soap
Dusting Powder
Handmade quilts
Handkerchiefs
House dresses
Throw rugs
Bolsters
Pound cake
Broaches
Rook Cards
Pennies
Peppermint sticks
Homemade chocolate fudge
Homemade Apple butter
Smiles
Hugs
Love

My memories are full of love for each of these special ladies. I lost one of them when I was around 16 and the other when I was around 32. But my love is as strong today as it was when I was a little girl and wrapped up in their arms.

9/22/10

A good read...


I love to read as many of you know. This is one of my bookshelves. I have four more shelves full of books, some of them 2 and 3 rows deep. My books are very important to me and reading is my favorite hobby in the world. It has taken me to destinations that I could never fathom going to on my own. I've been to the Grand Tetons, the wine vineyards of France, the sandy beaches of Florida and even to Hong Kong. I've been reading avidly since the summer reading programs in first grade.


I just received an email from Amy at WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. I was the winner of the day on their Fiction Question of the day contest yesterday. The question was "If you were to write a fiction book loosely based on your own life, what would the title be?" My answer was "Up a Country Road". I'll be receiving a romance fiction book from one of their new authors. They are a Christian publishers so I'm really looking forward to receiving the book and very humble to have been chosen. (Of course, it could be a publicity gimmick and everybody may win a free book, who knows.) But either way, I love that I won one.
 
Thomas Nelson Publishing has sent me Max Lucado's newest book to read and write a review on for their blog site and to post on mine as well. I'm half-way through and will let you know my thoughts. As with all his books, I have hard time putting it down. The blessings pour from his words.
 
 


I'm also reviewing The Nativity Collection by Robert J. Morgan. I just received my copy of it today, so I'll start it after Lucado's book. This one has six different stories about Christmas. On the inside flap, it reads... Christmas-The season when God reaches into our ordinary days in extraordinary ways. I can't wait to start it.









9/21/10

A fall frame of mind....

If you saw my post yesterday, you will know that I'm in a fall mood. I love seeing all the fall decor that people put out at this time of year. My sister is the queen of decorating. She was born with Better Homes & Gardens blood flowing through her vains. She can take the simplist items and put them together to make a relaxing setting. She has one of those big wonderful front porches that you can sit and relax and watch the world go by. She changes the decor every season and I never know what she's going to pick up new or how she is going to reaarange things year after year. I asked her to send me her photos and I'd like to share them with you today. Hope you enjoy....



9/20/10

Monday Madness...

I love my crazy, topsy-turvy, hectic life. It seems like there is always something going on. This past weekend I had friends over for a purse party, then went shopping with my daughter. Sunday was church and I had the pleasure of doing children's church. Sunday evening was my granddaughter's birthday party.

Today, I'm decorating my house for fall, making dessert for the Ladies Night Out Fiesta tonight, and picking out my "prizes" for my purse party.

Here are some of my favorite fall items, some old....some new.

Here's a basket I put together this morning with some flower I bought at the $ tree. Had everything else here.


I got a pair of these little leaf candy dishes several years ago at Walmart for just $2.00 each.


My harvest angel. She came from a craft store in Gatlinburg. She stays out year 'round to remind me that we should celebrate Thanksgiving every day since God bestows so many blessings on us.


Meet Boo. I have had him about 9 years. One of my clients would send me a new cookie jar for special occasions. Boo comes out every year to hold sweet treats for the grandkids.


You all know how much I love my teapots. Thought this really personified fall.


My niece Amy came to visit recently and brought me this beautiful dish towel. She knows I love my seasonal decor.


Found this pumpkin at a great deal several years ago at Cracker Barrel. I couldn't resist it.


Meet Pete and Polly. My daughter-in-laws mother made these for me about 12 years ago and they get a place of honor in the Living Room every fall.


9/19/10

From the kitchen of Papaw Al



Papaw Al's Tomato Bacon Pasta Salad

1 small box Rotini noodles
1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped into bite size pieces
2 cups chopped red onion
4 cuts grape tomatoes cut in half
2 -16 oz. bottles Kraft Tangy Bacon Catalina salad dressing

Cook noodles per box directions. Drain and cool. Add one bottle of salad dressing, stir to coat noodles well. Add all vegetables and mix well with pasta. Add the other bottle of dressing and stir well.

Variations

Use the Rotini vegetable noodles (the red and green ones)
Replace the Bacon Catalina dressing with Italian dressing

Additional ingredients

Add slices of pepperoni (quartered) or bacon bits

Enjoy!
9/18/10

I believe....

I BELIEVE IN A HILL CALLED MOUNT CALVARY

There are things as we travel this earth’s drifting sand,
That transcend all the reason of man;
But the things that matter the most in this world,
They can never be held in our hands.

I believe in a hill called Mount Calvary,
I'll believe whatever the cost;
And when time has surrendered,
And earth is no more; I'll still cling to that old rugged cross.

I woke up with the words I believe on my mind this morning. The words of this song were singing in my heart. How true they are. I DO believe. I believe in God. It's that simple. He is my one, my only, my all. I can do nothing or be nothing without Him. We may not always do what he wants and we may not always please Him, but we are always loved by Him, comforted by Him and adored by Him. He will handle all our burdens, all our cares and provide for us no matter what. My husband has a wonderful saying that he uses all the time. It sums up God and the wonderful blessings He bestows on us daily:

"If you don't believe, you don't receive."

If your life is lacking in direction and you feel like you have no one to turn to; if you are at wits end with your personal situations and can't see a way out, the answer is easy. Fall to your knees, call on the Lord and utter those simple words: I believe.
9/17/10

Shame on me...

I have to admit I'm feeling a little ashamed of myself this morning. Many of you know that I love to bake. I could not care less about cooking or cleaning. But baking is one of my favorite things to do. I have several desserts that I'm "famous" for. There is my peanut butter brownie trifle; my spice cake with caramel icing, my Hershey's chocolate syrup cake, peanut butter cookies, my cinnamon chocolate cake, my Reese's peanut butter fudge, my chocolate candy, my no bake oatmeal cookies, my orange cream iced cookies, etc. I love baking homemade goodies. At any given holiday, my family can count on no less than 3 scrumptious desserts to choose from. I try to make everybodies favorite. Every event that I attend where you take a dish, I get requests for specific desserts.

Well, tomorrow is my 31 Party and I get to bake the dessert of my choice. Decisions, decisions. What shall I choose? Should I do the cinnamon chocolate cake with the warm chocolate fudge frosting that you pour on while it is hot? Should I do the peanut butter cookies where you chill the dough for 3 hours and lovingly roll each individual cookies before imprinting it with a fork? Should I make a mixture of items so my guests can have a choice.

Here is where my shame comes in. I have been debating this for 3 days and am at the point where I was thinking I would go to Krogers and just buy a tray of their sorted slices of pudding pound cake. Horror of horrors. What am I thinking? I cannot serve my guests "store bought" desserts. My reputation would be ruined. Guess I'm going to go hit my recipe books until inspiration hits.
9/16/10

A great new find that excites me

It doesn't take much to please me or make me happy. Every once in awhile, I'll find that particular item that just tickles my fancy and I get so excited about the product that I just have to share. I'm hosting my first 31 Party Saturday and I've been going through their book making my wish list. Then I saw it. That one item that called my name. It is a large 12 x 9 zipper pouch that can be used for many things. I fell in love with it. I can see many uses for it, but I wanted it because it will hold standard letter size paper and folders. This will be perfect for those Sunday's I have Children's Church and can tote my papers and handouts for the kids. I have to decide on what pattern and what I want to have it monogrammed with . But I am so excited about this bag.


It comes in a smaller 7 x 6 size as well, which I like, too. I'm just going back and forth between these two patterns as to which design to go with on the bigger pouch. I'd welcome your opinions. I love the vidid colors in the brown one, but the practicality of black and white draws my eye as well. Help!!
9/15/10

Are we there yet?

As children, we are always in a hurry to get somewhere. Our little minds cannot conceive time or distance. The most asked question in our youth is "Are we there yet?"

As we grow up, things don't change all that much. But now, instead of a whiny "are we there yet" we focus on how soon events are coming up on us. So now we are always "Do you realize it's only so many days until....".

This is the time of year when that phrase is muttered the most. So I wanted to take a moment to look at some of the upcoming events that we are counting down to in my family.

-Do you realize it's only...about 26 days until my new grandson will be here. Jamie has stayed on her bed rest and Baby Boy has stayed where he's supposed to be. He is showing signs of great health and all his vitals are really good. We still don't know a name, but they are narrowing it down.

-Do you realize it's only...46 days until Halloween or as I like to call it Trick-or-Treat. The kids are looking forward to trunk-or-treat at church. Fall is in the air and I saw some awesome pumpkins yesterday at Food City. I need to get my decorations out. I'm running behind this year.

-Do you realize it's only...71 days until Thanksgiving. Turkey and all the trimmings. The Macy's Day parade. Pouring over the sales ads with the girls after dinner. This year, the girls can tell me about the ads because I'll be holding Baby Boy and loving on him. It will be his first visit to Mamaw's.

-Do you realize it's only...72 days until Black Friday. Yes, that's right. I am one of those crazy up at 5:00 shoppers. I do get some really good bargains. It's not for everybody though. Some would rather shop online, but there is just something about the thrill of being out that early on a mission. And I have met some very fascinating people standing in lines. It's amazing what you can find to talk about with complete strangers.

-Do you realize it's only...89 days until my birthday. I am going to be 54 and proud of it. Most days I still feel 34 thanks to my grandbabies. But sometimes, being with the grandbabies and acting 34 leads me to feel more like 94 the next day.

-Do you realize it's only...101 days until Christmas. This is my favorite time of year. The time of our dear Saviour's birth. A time for celebrating. A time for Christmas programs and choir rehearsals. A time of sharing and caring for each other. A time for family and friends.
9/14/10

What does a miracle look like?


A miracle is when you receive a call while you are on vacation that says "Your granddaughter is coming two months early."




A miracle is that precious little girl being born healthy at only 1 lb and 14 ounces and only 13" long. But they had to keep her so she could be monitored while her lungs finished developing and she put on some weight.


A miracle is when Mommy gets to lift that precious bundle from the bed, to touch her, to feel her.


A miracle is that first feeding in Mommy's arms. Snugly and soft, like holding a tiny little baby doll.


A miracle is Daddy getting to hold his little bundle of joy. His daughter, his princess. The one who took his heart and will never give it back.


A miracle is Papaw getting to hold his first granddaughter just a week or so after she came home from the hospital. Just 2 months old and only 4 1/2 pounds. But she had Papaw wrapped around her little finger.


A miracle is watching that little tiny baby grow into a precious energetic little princess.


A miracle is that princess growing and having a head of long beautiful hair that weighs more than she does.


A miracle is watching that dainty little princess graduating from kindergarten. She's about 1/2 the size as the rest of her class. They call her the back pack with hair.

So what does a miracle look like? Like this. My granddaughter, Alexis Caroline. Happy birthday princess. You are the light of Mamaw's life and I love you. Thank you God for our little miracle.

9/13/10

A great message....

Our pastor preached a wonderful message last nigh from I Corinthians. I wanted to share something with you from his message.  He was talking about Faith - Hope - Love. He simplified these three very important topics by saying this:

Faith is believing.
Hope is anticipating.
Love is accepting.

I have a very analytical mathematical mind that is always looking at things from every angle to see if any patterns emerge. Now, to some what I'm about to say may sound a little strange but bear with me.

As we look at these three words that are the basics for all Christians, look closely at what the preacher described them as:

Believing
Anticipating
Accepting

When I saw this, my first thought was "Oh, it's an acrostic for the word Baa." Then my next thought, was "Like a sheep." Which led me to think about Jesus is our shepherd and we are his sheep...obedient and following wherever he leads us.

Isn't it amazing that EVERYTHING God does or shows us has an underlying meaning that just re-enforces His word?

And the winner is....

Congratulations to Rachel Ashworth. She is the winner of our book gift package. Thank you for being a faithful follower. And thank you to everyone who entered. I wanted to place the random generator on here to show how the winner is chosen, but for some reason the link wouldn't work. But, again, thanks to everyone who entered.
9/12/10
I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD. - Psalm 122:1


In the U.S. Constitution, the first ten amendments make up our Bill of Rights. The first amendment, in the very first words says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; .....". This very clearly gives us the right to worship in our own way in our own manner.

We, the people, believe that we are one nation, under God. In 2004, Fox News did a poll in America. The results showed that 92% of American's believe in God, yet only 85% believed in heaven and 82% believe God still performs miracles. In 2007, Pew Forum did a survey of 35,000 people. There results showed 78.4% of the people surveyed were practicing Christians, 4.7% practiced in other faiths, and 16.9% did not believe in anything. In 2009, they did an extensive national survey using U.S. Census information and determined that 79% of Americans are Christians.

This leads me to two questions: First, if 79% of our country are Christians, why do we have so many pews empty in our churches. We complain about it being so hard to find parking when we go to ball games, car shows, or the mall. Wouldn't it be wonderful to say "I have to leave early to go to church so I can find a parking place."

My second question is, if 79% of Americans are Christians and the first words of our Bill of Rights gives us the freedom to exercise that religion, why are we not allowed to pray in schools? Why is there such an uproar to remove In God We Trust from our government...the very government that gives us the right TO trust in God? Why can we not display our Ten Commandments in public, why must we be "politically correct" in everything we say and do?
If the majority of the United States of America are Christians, why are we made to feel like a minority with no rights?

I for one will continue to exercise my rights. I will pray when and where I want to pray. I will put my trust in God. I will attend the church of my choice and I WILL BE glad when they say unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.
9/11/10

Survival

Many hearts and minds will remember the importance of 9-11. We all know where we were and remember the devastation. The families that lost their loved ones, those who went to work not knowing they would never go home again.

But I know a man who is a survivor of the devastating attack on our country. Michael Hingson was working on the 78th floor of Tower One that day. He relives the fear and terror that they all faced. But Michael's story is a unique one. Michael has been blind since birth. His Guide Dog Roselle worked diligently to get them both from the building to safety by walking down all 78 floors in the stairwell where you could feel the heat and smell the jet fuel.

He travels the country to tell of his experience. I have had the pleasure of hearing him in person three times. He takes you through the entire process from the time the plane hit until he made it to a safety zone where he was able to breath clean air.

I cry every time Michael tells his story. He tells how they were coming down the stairs and would have to stop every so often to make way for firefighters to either go up or for them to bring someone injured down. He talks about the smoke, the water, the fumes, the terror, the fear. You can feel like you were there.

But he also talks about survival. The way everyone worked together to help each other get to safety. He talks about the trust that was among the ones trying to get out as stranger helped stranger.

I wish everybody could have a chance to hear his story. I don't think any of us can every understand what it was like to go through something like that and survive.