Archive for December, 2010

2010 Review + Video

~ More on Nanci J Gravill’s new book Fresh Hope … Cleveland.

This was a busy year for me and my book. Since February I’ve offered you a glimpse into the text of a book that has taken me two years to write and research. My inspiration for the text came as I waded through five years full of difficulties. God helped me through those tough times in order that I may have something to give all of you ~ those who need some fresh hope today and those who simply would like to know a little more.

Here are some of the highlights from this past year:

 Began blogging every Tuesday. I’ve blogged 48 weeks since I began in February 2010.
 Healed! Healed! Healed! No more frozen shoulder ~ it was tough to work! Hurray!
 Found two wonderful assistants that helped twice a week with all kinds of things.
 Transferred domain name for my web site.
 Introduced you all to Emma (post May 5). Emma’s my little field mouse that introduces the social services agencies in the book. She’s adorable!
 Had new cover created by an awesome graphic designer ~ it’s truly Fresh Hope!
 Printed up Fresh Hope T-shirts for my staff and my nieces ~ cool!
 Showed several videos on my blog including Pink Glove Dance, Pink Glove Dance Sequel (this post), and Handle’s Halleluiah Chorus.
 Decided on individuals who we’d like to approach to write the foreword for the book.
 Helped by all of you ~ which picture was the best for my web site?
 Shared some wisdom for the holidays at a time when you may need it most along with recipes, and videos.

Watch for these exciting developments in 2011 ~
After all, couldn’t you use a little Fresh Hope?

 Hear a Business Interview that will be on my blog and web site early 2011
 Check out my web site in progress at
 Read my blog to learn the Final Release Date for Fresh Hope … Cleveland
 Watch my blog and web site for book signings, classes, and speaking engagements throughout the year
 Join us for a kickoff promotional party for the book

Okay ~ I’ll let you digest all that. Now, end the old year dancing! Get up out of your chair and enjoy the music from the 2010 sequel to the Pink Glove Dance video (October 5th post). This new video features more than 4,000 healthcare workers and breast cancer survivors from all over the United States and Canada.

Now that’s some Fresh Hope!

See you back here January 4, 2011 ….!
Happy New Year ~ God Bless You!


December 28, 2010 at 12:06 am Leave a comment

End the Year Dancing!

Read More Tomorrow at the Last Post of 2010.

December 27, 2010 at 6:37 pm Leave a comment

Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus

Now Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus:
(You always stand when this is played.)

In a Mall Food Court ~ shoppers where caught totally unaware by this unexpected performance. I’d love to experience this type of thing at my mall wouldn’t you?!

More: On November 13, 2010, unsuspecting shoppers got a big surprise while enjoying their lunch. Over 100 participants in this awesome Christmas Flash Mob. This flash mob was organized by to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!

Enjoy this wonderful performance!

~ More on Nanci J. Gravill’s new book Fresh Hope … Cleveland.

Right from the pages of my book. I thought this would be very fitting at Christmastime ~ the Birth of Christ.

God has a pattern into which all of our lives fit. His pattern requires that some lives be twisted, knotted, or cut short, while others extend to impressive lengths, not because one thread is more deserving than another, but simply because the pattern requires it. Looked at from underneath, from our vantage point in life, God’s pattern of reward and punishment (trials) seems arbitrary and without design, like the underside of a tapestry. But looked at from outside this life, from God’s vantage point, every twist and knot is seen to have its place in a great design that adds up to a work of art.

Isn’t it an awesome thing to realize that your life is God’s work of art? And what He wants more than anything is to make your life a masterpiece! But the only way that God can artfully design the magnificent canvas of your life is if you come to know Him personally. And as you do, then graciously allow Him to choose the colors and most fitting design for your life.

If you’ve gone to church but never heard about knowing God personally and having a personal relationship with Him, please take a comfortable seat and let me tell you about the best friend you could ever have!

God is a warm and caring heavenly Father who is always faithful and loving to His dear children. Yet before the sun, moon, and stars were ever created, God had a purpose for your life. And He thought about you long ago before He fashioned the intricate details of your character, intellect, and personality. He also designed your physique and decided on the great talents you’d be able to share with the world.

But more than anything, God loves you. And that’s precisely why He wants to have a relationship with you. It stands to reason too that if you love someone, you’ll want to spend time with them; you’ll want to nurture that relationship. And because God cares about you so much, He is often sad and hurt by the way we live. You see, He never intended us to be afraid, worried, depressed, angry, or impatient. Instead, God intended us to be joyful and fulfilled. He also meant for us to help one another. Living as self-centered beings, thinking only of our own needs, was not His design for our lives.

Because He is a great and awesome God, when you put your trust completely in Him, your life will never be the same.

Today as you’re reading this, all you need to do to have this relationship with God is say a little prayer. You simply need to invite God’s Son, Jesus Christ, to come into your heart. Christ died on the cross for your sins – the things that keep you separated from a holy God. Religion, philosophy, and good works have always been man’s attempt to reach God. Christ’s death on the cross was God reaching down to man to bring us back into a relationship with Him – the living God.

But Jesus not only died for us; He rose again! And His victory over death means you can have victory in your life too! As you live for God, you will experience that victory by obeying God’s Word, the Bible. If you just prayed and invited Jesus into your heart, welcome to the family of God! Begin to trust Him in every area of your life. God is faithful, and He will show you the way!

Note: To grow and mature as a Christian, find a church that preaches God’s Word, the Bible. It’s also important to develop relationships with other followers of Christ. These relationships will nourish your mind and your soul. They will also help strengthen your faith and encourage you through your trials and challenges.

©2010 All rights reserved ~ Fresh Hope … Cleveland


God Bless You and have a very Merry Christmas!

December 21, 2010 at 2:07 pm Leave a comment

~More Fresh Hope Holiday Recipes!

~ Thank you for dropping in for the rest of the recipes from Tuesday’s post.

~ Please let me know how you enjoyed these recipes this holiday season.

Have a wonderful holiday!
God Bless You!

Today I’ll share the recipes for Hot Spiced Tea, My Grandmother’s Gingerbread Cake with Hot Lemon Sauce, and Avocado, Pink Grapefruit, and Pomegranate Salad (thanks Martha Stewart).

I hope you enjoy making them for your family ~ As for me I’m having Chinese on Christmas!!

Hot Spiced Tea

— Takes about 25 minutes to make —

~ 1 t. whole cloves, a stick cinnamon, 1/2 t. allspice ~ tie in cheese cloth (make a bag) and bring to a boil in 1 gallon of water.

~ Add 3 tea bags and steep for 5 minutes — remove bags.
~ Add 1 c. frozen orange juice and 1 c. of frozen lemonade.
~ Add 1-1/2 c. of sugar — and bring to a boil and serve!

My Grandmother’s Gingerbread (with Hot Lemon Sauce)

1. Cream 1/2 c. shortening with 1/2 c. sugar til fluffy
2. Add 1 egg and 1/2 c. light molasses; beat thoroughly
3. Sift together 1-1/2 c. sifted flour, 3/4 t. salt, 3/4 t. baking soda, 1/2 t. ginger, and 1 t. cinnamon

4. Add to creamed misture alternately with 1/2 c. boiling water, beating after each addition

Bake in greased & floured 8 X 8 X 2″ pan at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Serve warm with Hot Lemon Sauce (below).

Hot Lemon Sauce

In saucepan: Combine 1/2 c. sugar, speck of salt, and 1-1/2 T. cornstarch with 1 c. boiling water — STIRRING CONSTANTLY. Boil 5 minutes over low flame.

~ Remove from heat and add juice of 1/2 lemon — and 1 t. butter.

Avocado, Pink Grapefruit, and Pomegranate Salad (with dressing)

For the salad ~

4 oz. mixed organic greens, such as baby arugula, baby spinach, mizuna, frisee, and red and green oak.
1 head endive, thinly sliced pieces
1/2 head radicchio, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 small head Bibb lettuce, torn into bit-sized pieces

2 ripe avocados, preferalby Haas, pitted, peeled, and cut int 1/2 -inch pieces
1 large ruby red grapefruit
1/2 c. pomegranate seeds

Dressing: Vinaigrette
1/4 c. freshly squeezed ruby grapefruit, 1 t. Dijon mustard, pinch of sugar, coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil

1. Combine greens, endive, radicchio, and lettuce in a large bowl; add avacado and grapefruit.
2. Remove peel and pith from grapefruit using a sharp paring knife. Working over a medium bowl to catch the juice, carefully cut between membranes to remove segments, and coarsely chop. Squeeze remaining membrane to extract juice.
3. To make the vinaigrette (dressing), whisk together reserved grapefruit juice, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl; add chopped grapefruit. While whisking constantly, add olive oil in a slow and steady stream until combined. Pour vinaigrette over salad and toss gently to coat. Transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with pomegranate seeds. Serve immediately.

December 16, 2010 at 11:13 am Leave a comment

Fresh Hope’s ~ 12 Days of Christmas

~ More on Nanci J. Gravill’s new book Fresh Hope … Cleveland.

The countdown begins. It’s now a little less than twelve days to Christmas. And as the snow and winds swirl around here in northeastern Ohio with sometime blizzard-like conditions (I wrote most of this yesterday), consider these things to add just that special touch to your holiday.

Recipes: All recipes are found at the end of this post and a special post later during the week.


Keep Warm!
God Bless You!


~ More Fresh Hope for your life for the Christmas Season ~

Day 1: Eat dinner by candle light ~ Light a candle each night and share something you are GRATEFUL for.

Day 2: Enjoy some great music each day before Christmas ~ Josh Groban or Andre Bocell’s Christmas CD’s are wonderful and are available at Giant Eagle. There are many other Christian CD’s available in the library and Christian bookstore as well.

Day 3: Decorate your tree by making some attractive ornaments using Bow Tie Pasta ~ add a little paint and glitter. You can also make ornament with applesauce and cinnamon (combine: 2 cups of applesauce with 1 cup of cinnamon –remember to make a hole to pull a ribbon through so you can hang it on your tree. Mix; cut out ornaments with cookie cutters. Dry one week and decorate with paint and glitter).

Day 4: Make some Kahlua Hot Fudge Sauce ~ it makes the perfect gift or serve it at Christmas with vanilla ice cream and Nanci’s homemade Chocolate cake (recipe below).

Day 5: Join hands with your loved ones at dinner and Thank God for your many blessings. End this time with a wonderful dinner-time prayer thanking God for the food before you.

Day 6: Create your own holiday story and tradition. On one sheet of paper, each person adds to the sentence below (if there are just a few helping with the story, each can add to the story several times). Make sure only the last response is showing. Everyone else’s response should be COVERED ~ keep passing it to the next person for their written response. When everyone has added to the story, read all the responses. It’s a lot of fun.

The story starts like this: For Christmas we are going to Australia. It will be a really different Christmas because ______________________.

Day 7: Serve my Grandmother’s warm Gingerbread Cake with Hot Lemon Sauce. It’s so yummy!

Day 8: Make some Hot Spiced Tea and serve it to your guests during the holidays! It will really warm you up!

Day 9: Read a good book or buy one for a friend ~ I loved The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest. That’s because it shares so much about four different cultures and their healthy life practices in a very unique way ~ Hara Hachi Bu, which means “eat until you’re 80% full.”

I also would recommend any of Joyce Meyer’s books and Your Best Life Now by Joel Osteen.

Day 10: In your Bible, read about the birth of Christ ~ it’s the real reason for this season.

Day 11: Introduce your kids and yourself to POMEGRANATES …. They initially came from Egypt but are grown in California. They are loaded with lots of antioxidants … and the juice is awesome. A word of caution, wear an old shirt when you open the pomegranate. The red juice could stain your clothing. To enjoy this fruit, make a small incision at the top and pull it apart. Do not cut in half.

Day 12: Enjoy this at Christmas dinner ~
Avocado, Pink Grapefruit, and Pomegranate Salad
– a Martha Steward original. I’m serving this at my house for Christmas dinner.

Days 1 – 365: PUT YOUR HOPE IN JESUS: Fresh Hope this season and in every season of life. Faith in the Living God can help you tackle any mountain or valley that you face. This holiday season, put your faith in the GOD WHO LOVES YOU and gave His ONLY SON for you to have an abundant life.

God Bless You!


WHITE CHRISTMAS ~ ANDRE RIEU PERFORMANCE OF WHITE CHRISTMAS — I’ll try to embed the performance here. If not, just paste the link below into your web browser. Enjoy!




Cinnamon/Applesauce Ornaments:
Combine: 2 cups of applesauce with 1 cup of cinnamon –remember to make a hole to pull a ribbon through so you can hang it on your tree. Mix; cut out ornaments with cookie cutters. Dry one week and decorate with paint and glitter.

Kahlua Hot Fudge Sauce

¾ c. butter
12 oz. pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1-1/3 c. evaporated milk
2 c. powdered sugar (sifted)
½ c. Kahlua
1 t. vanilla

Melt butter in saucepan ~ add chocolate chips; when melted add evaporated milk. Add powdered sugar s-l-o-w-l-y (make sure it’s sifted or it will be lumpy. Beat with electric mixer for 1- 2 minutes or until smooth. Heat to medium heat (not boiling). Then add Kahula and vanilla stirring constantly over heat. Pour while hot into clean and steriled containers.

Nanci’s To-Die-For Chocolate Cake

1-3/4 cups sifted flour
2 cups flour
¾ c. Hershey’s Cocoa
1-1/2 t. baking soda
1-1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 t. vanilla
1 cup Boiling Water

Combine dry ingredients in mixing bowl. Add remaining
Ingredients except boiling water; beat at medium speed
For 2 minutes. Remove from mixer and stir in boiling water
(batter will be thin). Pour into 2 greased and floured 9” or one
13 X 9” pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 – 35 minutes. Cool
10 minutes on rack ~ remove from pans; cool completely.
Frost or serve with vanilla ice cream and Kahlua Hot Fudge Sauce.

~ NOTE ~ Recipes for Gingerbread Cake with Hot Lemon Sauce, Hot Spiced Tea, and Avocado, Pink Grapefruit, and Pomegranate Salad will be posted later this week.

December 14, 2010 at 10:46 am Leave a comment

The Green Bean Club at Christmas + Light Show

~ More on Nanci J. Gravill’s new book Fresh Hope … Cleveland.

This post is dedicated to my sweet nieces in Seattle – Devon, Shannon, and Brenna.

NOTE: Christmas light show at the end of this post ~ Enjoy!

What’s The Green Bean Club?
Okay, did the title of this post get your attention? I hope so. The idea came from something my sister used to tell her kids during dinner. She’d tell them it’s the Green Bean Club. And all they had to do to join was eat their green beans! And of course, they always ate them because the Green Bean Club sounded really fun and they wanted to be in the club!

It’s Secret …
Well, this Christmas no matter what age you are, you can be in the Green Bean Club too. That’s because the real secret to the club’s success was that we took something nutritious like ordinary green beans and made them fun and desirable all wrapped up together with a great big sense of belonging. And BELONGING is really the key word here. Everybody needs to belong somewhere. So you see this post really isn’t about a club that rewards you for eating your green beans: it’s about families.

How You Can Be Part of The Green Bean Club This Christmas?
Families make us who we are by nurturing, encouraging, and directing us. They also help mold our personality and character. But besides all that, a family is the place where we experience holiday traditions with food, decorations, music, and perhaps your funny Aunt Clara. Remember she’s the one who always bakes ten pies and brings her cute little Schnauzer. In a perfect world a family is the place where you’re accepted and loved in spite of everything. But even though it’s Christmas, not everyone has a family to visit and share in the simple wonder of belonging that is so much a part of this joyous holiday.

What Can You Do This Holiday?
So here’s what I think you should take away from The Green Bean Club at Christmas: make a special point to see if any of your friends, co-workers, and neighbors will be alone this Christmas. It won’t take much but a moment of your time to reach out and care. If they don’t have plans, set another place at the table and invite them. Now we’re talking Green Bean Club!

Have an awesome day ~ Keep Warm!
God Bless You!

HOLIDAY LIGHT DISPLAY: Enjoy the holiday light display by clicking on this link:

• Amazing Christmas Light Show Will Leave You Speechless – Click Here!

~ I have to laugh. WordPress automatically generated a hookup with my blog to a Green Bean Salad recipe! Too Funny!

December 7, 2010 at 7:46 am Leave a comment


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