Just As I Am

 Before anyone gets funny ideas about this post, let me preface by saying I was raised Roman Catholic in the ’50s. So Protestant churches and Protestant hymns were largely an unknown and untraveled country.  And in fact close to being forbidden [not technically, but socially if you take my meaning – when I went to a cousin’s wedding at a Lutheran church at age 8, I felt SURE the lightning bolts would come down on me any second]

I know my teachers during 16 years of parochial education, and especially the first eight of those years in grade school [no split between 6th grade and 5th, no junior high then] seemed to believe that if you weren’t Roman Catholic to the hilt, you were …well in a lot of trouble with the Old Man with the Long White Beard, ‘upstairs’.

BUT my parents were actually very open minded and listened to and watched various non-Catholic ministers and so forth. One was of course Billy Graham and this hymn that was so often used at his televised services has always felt just perfect to me… wonder why it doesn’t get more play these days.  To me it shows exactly what I was taught at home and by some other teachers, including the nuns and priests who taught me in high school:  that to G-d what and who we are matters NOTHING, only our turning to G-d matters.  I really love and cherish that idea still. Image



Just as I am, without one plea,

      but that thy blood was shed for me,

      and that thou bidst me come to thee,

      O Lamb of God, I come, I come.


2.      Just as I am, and waiting not

      to rid my soul of one dark blot,

      to thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,

      O Lamb of God, I come, I come.


3.      Just as I am, though tossed about

      with many a conflict, many a doubt,

      fightings and fears within, without,

      O Lamb of God, I come, I come.


4.      Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;

      sight, riches, healing of the mind,

      yea, all I need in thee to find,

      O Lamb of God, I come, I come.


5.      Just as I am, thou wilt receive,

      wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;

      because thy promise I believe,

      O Lamb of God, I come, I come.


6.      Just as I am, thy love unknown

      hath broken every barrier down;

      now, to be thine, yea thine alone,

      O Lamb of God, I come, I come.


Text: Charlotte Elliott, 1789-1871 
Music: William B. Bradbury, 1816-1868 
Tune: WOODWORTH, Meter: LM


Best ever quote about books!

I know its maybe a little cheating to blog quotes but this one has spoken to me for decades about what it is and what it means to be a writer, to be part of the world of books as Day so eloquently puts it. This quote always tells me why I want to write and why I want to share my writing.  And its not just ‘immortality’ that attracts me, honest. Its also the idea of my heart speaking to other human hearts I will never know, who will never know me, except in this way.


The world of books is the most remarkable creation of man. Nothing else that he builds ever lasts. Monuments fall; nations perish; civilizations grow old and die out; and after a period of darkness, new races build others.

But in the world of books are volumes that have seen this happen again and again, and yet live on, still young, still as fresh as the day they were written, still telling men’s hearts of the hearts of men centuries dead.

And even the books that do not last long, penetrate their own times at least, sailing further than Ulysses ever dreamed of, like ships on the seas. It is the author’s part to call into being their cargoes and passengers, – living thoughts and rich bales of study and jeweled ideas. And as for the publishers, it is they who build the fleet, plan the voyage and sail on, facing wreck, till they find every possible harbor that will value the burden.
Clarence Shepard. Day, Jr. [1874-1935] Story of the Yale University Press

wonderful cookie recipe

I learned this cookie recipe from the mother of a grade school-high school friend a lonnnng time ago. Not saying how long, nope, not going there. But I will say thanks so much, Mrs. B, wherever you are smiling down from these days.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup sifted flour 1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
2 tblspns liquid shortening
1 egg
1/2 cup peanut butter 1/4 cup milk
1 square baking chocolate, melted
mix flour, baking powder baking soda salt and sugar
preheat oven to 375
add liquid ingredients to dry mix well
drop by spoonfuls onto greased baking sheets
bake 10 to 15 minutes

My chocolate chip cookie recipe


get a bag of Toll House Semi Sweet morsels [not the teensy ones,
the regular size ones]
And yes, I’m saying stick with Toll House, cause they began this whole
thing about cc cookies,
at least so
far as I know.
Also, even if you don’t use Toll House, don’t go for milk chocolate
morsels, use only
or you won’t get the right flavor, also semi sweet chocolate is as far as
baking goes the
same as dark chocolate, so its actually good for you. [seriously]

Second read the recipe on the back of the bag
and for my own recipe make these changes:

2 3/4 cups whole wheat flour 2 and a quarter gives
you flat, shapeless cookies,
3 cups gives you very dry dough that you end up adding water to.
About 25 years ago I discovered
that whole wheat flour makes a delicious difference in the
recipe so that was
the first change I made.

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened – I’ve found it much easier to
mix the dough if you
actually melt the butter first.

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

1 cup chopped nuts -optional

Heat your oven to 375 no higher and no lower. [butter burns easily]

put the dry ingredients: flour, salt and baking soda, together in one bowl,
whisk them together.

put the sugars in another bowl, add the vanilla, the eggs
and the butter, in no
particular order –
blend this thoroughly, a wooden spoon or metal whisk works best here.

Slowly, by watching more than by measure, add the dry ingredients
to the ‘wet’… beat
and taste the mixture. Look for the cookie dough to be a bit stiff here but
not like a maraigne [sp?]
Look for the dough to show its texture and taste it for the right sweet, rich flavor.
Janie does
taste test for me, and she’s always right about what might still be needed
at this juncture.

Now and only now add the ‘morsels’ [chips] Get out your wooden spoon
Now and only now add the ‘morsels’ [chips] Get out your wooden spoon
because you
have to fold
them into the dough here.

Grab a cookie sheet, don’t grease it, there’s already plenty butter
in the dough.

Take two regular teaspoons [not measuring spoons] and scoop roughly
teaspoon sized
amounts of dough onto your cookie sheet. A large sheet will take a dozen,
a smaller
one nine or ten.

Okay, very important:
The package says bake each batch for 9 to 11 minutes. Set your timer,
especially on
the first
batch for 9 minutes and take a look at the cookies at the ringer.
Let them go for
another minute
or a minute and a half if they look too soft, or sink too far when you
press them with
a spoon or knife. Eleven minutes is often too long, or maybe that’s the
difference in my
additional elements. don’t know, not a kitchen chemist.

Lastly, repeat the grabbing and dropping and baking parts till you’re out
of cookie dough,
unless you want to freeze some to snack on later.

And here’s the only disappointing part: The package says this recipe as
make 5 dozen cookies.
There’s no way, no way at all unless you are using that measuring
spoon teaspoon
to make them.

Let each batch cool and store… or if you have more than one cookie sheet,
grab it and get
another batch baking while the first batch cools down.
And there you have it: Rielle’s best-in-the-whole-danged-world
chocolate chip cookies.