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Tastebud Review: Tribute Diner in Mansfield Ohio

Not Really New

The “same-old, same-old” on the menu & in the flavor. ..NOT GOOD!


I live in Mansfield, Ohio -  a very well-known city due to its infamousy for dirty politics, crime-infested legalities and lynch-mob police tactics as depicted in “Rotten to the Core” by Martin Yant – a book I’ve just finished reading – that was published several years ago on this city’s mark in history.    While the town itself has many beautiful landmarks (Kingwood Center, Malibar Farms, Raemelton Therapeutic Riding Facility plus others), good-hearted people and a meeting place on Park Avenue West that is wonderful for those who love the Lord and seek His face, what it offers in flora, fauna  and friendship it seriously lacks in culinary cuisines.  This is my opinion, to which I’m entitled and allowed by law to speak, print and/or publicize ,so far as the Constitution goes (just thought I’d get my ‘disclaimer’ out of the way).

This morning, preparing for a busy and long day in-office without a break in sight, I opted to try a new diner on Park Avenue West named the “Tribute Diner” – the replacement of the former “Lucy’s Diner” .  While I’d tried “Lucy’s” once – and never went back for obvious reasons (canned sausage gravy, watered down orange juice, bitter-tasting coffee – again, just my opinion) I decided that this “new diner” was worth a shot.  I was wrong.

Allbeit the waitress there was friendly and nice, there were a mere 3-4 cars in the parking lot – something that I’d noticed with “Lucy’s”, as well.  But since it was almost 10 am and the breakfast “rush” was probably over, I hopped in to get a to-go order – - – tastebuds set for some biscuits and gravy, of course!

My first question after I smiled a “good morning” was “Is your sausage gravy homemade?”  Her answer was “No, but you can sample it if you like”.  That was a definite improvement, because when I’d ordered biscuits and gravy at the previous diner, I was presented with a plate of flat, dried-out biscuits covered in what appeared to be regurgitated cat food that, as I closed my eyes and took a snicky like, tasted as such, too.

Brought a little sample cup of gravy (about 1 tablespoon full), I tried to forget the diner episode eighteen months earlier (shortly before said diner went out of business) and took a taste.  Yep.  Canned sausage gravey, UN-deluxe.  I smiled a “no thank-you” and chose French Toast with an order of bacon for my to-go for the day.  By the way…2 slices of bacon does NOT a side order make.   But that’s for another time.   When my order was ready, I asked the waitress if she’d like a little suggestion on getting more butts in the seats on a more continual basis, and she said  “Sure!”

My hint was: “Wow ‘em with homemade sausage gravy”, to which she replied “A lot of people just love this gravy the way it is and have asked us not to change a thing!”  Although she smiled at me, I could tell she wasn’t very happy.  While it’s true you can’t please all of the people all of the time (Captain Penny’s good, ‘ol saying for those of you baby boomers who can remember him from T.V.), I believe you could please MOST of the people MOST of the time with a menu that truly offered home cooking…like apple pie actually MADE on-site and served warm with some hand-churned vanilla ice cream … biscuits and/or homemade bread in little baskets that begged you to eat more … and yes, definitely homemade sausage gravy!

Some would say this little diner would be too small for such grandiose thinking; too many butts begging for seats wouldn’t be cool.  I say “think Waffle House, folks”!  Their interior space is quite small – all of them are about the same sq. footage in size – and on Saturday and Sunday mornings you’ll wait in line to be seated.  WHY?????  Because the food is hot, fresh, extremely tasty and prepared right in front of you when ordered (a real plus for those who fear testy cooks and/or grumpy waitresses spitting in their food).  Now I can’t prove it, but I’m willing to guess by the chewy, dried out taste that my French toast was waiting for me before I ever sauntered in the door.

Do I go to a Waffle House and get homemade sausage gravy?  No; their specialty is waffles – DUH.  But their other menu offerings are fabulous, as well: pork chops, steaks, Burt’s chili, and of course those hashbrowns scattered, double smothered, chunked, topped and on and on you go.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t dream.

Look alive, Mansfield, Ohio!  Try a little creative ingenuity, imagination and old-fashioned home-cooked goodness, why don’t ya?  I’m certain there are more tastebuds than mine in town that aren’t so dead that they’d prefer REAL sausage gravy to the canned, cat food style.

**By the way…the closest Waffle House to Mansfield, Ohio is one down I 71 south towards Columbus or off I 77 N. on Whipple Ave. in North Canton..**

And yes…I’m still waiting for sausage gravy that’s NOT Bob Evan’s .  Surely we can do better in Mansfield than this, can’t we???


The bird is in the oven; follow ME on Twitter!

The bird is in the oven; follow ME on Twitter!


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Pray Unceasingly


 Does THIS Sound Familiar?

I’ve read a dozen or more times in God’s Word about praying unceasingly, and it’s usually a command accompanied by the words “with thanksgiving”.  But all too often my internal attitude, which is what unceasing prayer adjusts and restricts (in a positive way) is not that of prayer with thanksgiving, but prayer with some petition and a little “but it’s because of” self-justification added in.  Most of my prayer life to date, I confess with a heavy sigh, has been like this little YouTube presentation (except I’m not a cat!).  

My point is this:  all too often we go into prayer with a want, need, or desire for forgiveness without realizing just WHAT prayer is and how to pray with tha authoritative standing we as believers possess because of who we are in Christ Jesus and where we are in Him!  As the Body of Christ we are actually “in ascension”  where he is, with all things under our feet!   THIS is the Biblical viewpoint and so it should be worked into us to be our viewpoint as well.  When it is, we won’t be believers who is in prayer one minute then pulled out of our human spirit & out of sinc with the Lord the next.

When I saw this little YouTube presentation I laughed, but in my inner being I sensed the truth as it applied to me; many times I’ve prayed for the Lord’s forgiveness, only to follow my petition with a quick “but”.    See if you don’t get what I mean .




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By Hearing, We Believe

Long to Worship You
Image by loswl via Flickr

Based on What We Believe,  We Have the Action of Believing

The Christian belief is Christ Himself in His person and His redemptive work;  Christ’s person and Christ’s work together constitute my belief.

I was reading my morning’s nourishment in “The Holy Word for Morning Revival”  entitled Crystallization-Study of the Gospel of God, Vol. I.  Among other things, it reminded me that the top blessing to me, once a sinner, is God Himself as the life-giving Spirit, Who is nothing less than the consummated Spirit … Who is the consummation of the processed Triune God.  This is, indeed, a real blessing.

I reflected on this and some other verses in Galations 3.   It had always been unclear to me how I was saved out of the ‘hearing of faith’.  Did I actually have faith prior to hearing something about the Lord?  Was “faith” something that had laid dormant in my human spirit, awaiting to be enlivened?  I think it must have.  For I can tell you that in my practical, daily living since becoming a lover of Jesus, this is how things have happened for me.

As a natural health advocate and holistic health care practitioner, specializing in therapeutic, integrative massage and energy bodywork treatments,  I daily employ the benefits from the all-natural of many things as provided by God – to us – in His creation (essential plant oils, dried herbals, teas, balms).  Whenever I talk to a client about what God’s creation has done for not only my physical body, but the physical being of many of my other clients, my belief – because it’s centered on my experiences and is therefore very resolute and solid – infuses whomever I’m speaking with.   The infusion or “transmission” is one of belief due to substantiated facts … and when I speak about these things, the person “hearing” me receives a definite impression.  The result is a  “belief” that what I’m telling them is true (because it is).

They’re impressed to believe what I’m saying – not because I’m adept at speaking or I’m some kind of aggressive snake oil salesperson – but because my foundation is based on a belief and trust fathered by a factual happening.  As they listen and hear about these experiences with herbals and natural healing aids, something happens echoes within them, giving them a new option – a new hope.  It’s “good news” to them.

This is exactly what happens when we have daily, fresh experiences of the Lord and it bubbles over into our speaking and more importantly – our living.  The FACT of what has transpired in my being as a direct result of gaining more of the life-giving Spirit within me,  speaks forth Christ.  The belief I have in Him, because He’s a part of my practical, daily reality causes something to “rise up” in the hearer:  a “believing”.

It’s the same when someone first hears of the person and work of Christ, or re-hears it as a result of personal experience in Christ;  that hearing causes a reaction in the depths of the hearer’s being (within their human spirit) that translates into believing.

In Galations 3:2 the word faith is first the things we believe in; THEN, based on what we believe in, we have the ACTION of believing.

If I had not known of people whose body had healed naturally, I may want it to be true but wouldn’t KNOW it to be true.  But because I have personal experience with the positive outcomes of using God’s creation for health, this has lead me into something I can place my trust (belief).   What follows is the action of believing.

So it is when we speak of the gospel, the truth of the person and redemptive work of Christ.  People listening hear our conviction – our faith – what we sincerely believe – and they have a response,  not to us … but to our faith / belief.

If you’d like to have a FREE New Testament study Bible that’s easy to understand, with over 9,000 footnotes – more than 13, 000 cross references, maps, timelines and more - Bibles For America   offer one of the very best, absolutely FREE, no strings attached and you can have it in your hands in only 2 – 4 weeks!    It’s a “pay-it-forward” kind of thing for me, because this study Bible has helped me immensely in going from a Christain who was saved for heaven but always wondered “is that all there is?” when it came to applying God’s Word to my daily living.  It’s practical and understandable … exactly what we all need, Christains and non-believers, alike.

Do your human spirit a huge favor:   

 Get your FREE Recovery Version of the New Testament, today.


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CATastrophe Allergy

ACHOOO! It’s a CAT-astrophe!!
Sharing the “air up there” with your

When my hubby, Dave, returned from 3 months living with his mom (that’s a story for another blog post) while looking for work  out-of-town,  he was grumpy (no sleep from pain),  in pain (from a torn bicepital tendon) and wheezing (he’s got adult asthma) after 15 minutes back on home turf.   Now it’s always easiest to blame your allergies on the first thing you see (yes, it was me – but that’s why he takes Benedryl – just kidding).  In this case it was my daughter Polly’s cat, Elijah.

Elijah is not a breed I’m especially fond of … he’s a small part Mackeral Tabby (complete with the “M” on the forehead which she thought was a ’sign’ he was to belong to her – her last name begins with an “M”), but a bigger part Siamese.  Very classical Siamese.  Ever since watching “Lady and the Tramp” as a child, I’ve never liked Siamese cats.  LOVE cats … just not the Siamese variety.

Before Dave left home for his mother’s place- oops – his out-of-town job quest, Elijah was an iddy-biddy kitty not more than 5-6 weeks old.  Very adorable, even for a rotten Siamese.   Grandkids loved the little fur ball, my daughter Polly (short for Pollyanna, so you’ve got to know where this is going) promised to take total control of the wee beastie  (yeah, right)  and all we had to do was try not to trip when he got under foot.    Dave’s allergies didn’t seem to be bothered, so needless to say we were totally unprepared for all the sneezing and wheezing that erupted when he returned home.

After a couple weeks of trying to sweep, mop, dust, change bedding, and generally keep the house tidy, Dave suggested that perhaps it was just the Siamese brand of cat he was allergic to … that maybe cat hair and dander were different on different breeds of cats – the Siamese being a really old breed dating back to Siam – yada, yada, yada.  While I’m not particularly fond of Elijah kitty’s ancestry, here are just the facts … Dave.

While it’s been believed for years that a cat’s hair was the allergen culprit, it is now recognized that it’s the DANDER which is the cause of allergic reactions (not to be confused with dandruff, the flaky-white ’snow’ you see on people’s collars).  SO…let’s review some STUFF.

Dander is dead skin cells, and every living creature covered in skin has dander.  We as people have dander – losing skin cells like crazy all the time.  The fur (hair) on an animal may shed but that is not dander, nor is it the cause of your allergies; the length of the hair on your pet – long vs short – makes no difference to the amount of dander your pet produces.

If you’re a cat lover with allergies, know that your pet’s skin growth cycle is approximately every 21 days.  So no matter the breed. your cat can and will produce dander –   IF your cat has skin – which I’m sure it does.

While a few breeds of cats may have slightly faster skin growth cycles which may result in a higher dander level, most cats are pretty much the same, give or take, even the Siamese, Dave.

Fact tidbits: **older cats produce more dander than younger ones, because – like humans – they tend to have drier skin as they age (little Elijah is only 3 months old!); **whole cats produce more Fel D1 (the allergen that makes you wheeze) than neutered cats ;  **male cats, particularly if they’re NOT neutered, produce more allergens than the females.

There is no such thing as a hypoallergenic feline
Black Cat

Black Cat

Blue Cat (Grey Cat)

Blue Cat (Grey Cat)

Brown Cat

Brown Cat

Calico Cat (tri-color)

Calico Cat (tri-color)

Colorpoint Cat (Siamese)

Colorpoint Cat (Siamese)

Mackerel Tabby

Mackerel Tabby

Red Cat (Orange, Marmalade)

Red Cat (Orange, Marmalade)

Tortoise shell Cat

Tortoise shell Cat

  • Bathe cat once weekly, thoroughly wash your cat’s face and ears as well as his/her body to cut down on dander;
  • use hypo-allergenic pet wipes between weekly baths (these wipes are fantastic at neutralizing the dander allergen);
  • Use a vacuum hose (at the lowest setting, possible) on your cat’s fur (some cats will like this, others just tolerate it, and those hating it will still lose a lot of their dander and loose fur into the hose before they jump out of your hands).


  • Be the new Mrs. Clean!  Twice yearly (at minimum) wash your walls and ceilings with hot, soapy water;  re-paint those tacky looking walls when needed.  Reducing pet allergens isn’t the only reason to practice cleanliness;  my grandmother ALWAYS did a Fall and Spring housecleaning, wall-washing included!
  • Put a HEPA filter on your vacuum and use that vacuum on everything!  Again, this isn’t a new notion;  my mom even vacuums the grill on the back of her refrigerator twice a year.  Go around baseboards, over windowsills, drapes and lamp shades, too.
  • Hardwood and/or tile flooring is always best for preventing build-up of allergens – even if you don’t have an indoor pet.  Remember?  We humans shed dried skin cells, too which feed dust mites!
  • Buy an air purifier with a HEPA filter for the main living rooms in your home.
  • Furniture boasting leather or vinyl instead of fabric traps less allergens and is easier to keep clean.
  • Use anti-mite covers on your bedding - although keeping bedroom doors closed so your pet isn’t tempted to snooze in there is far easier and less expensive.
  • Clean your ductwork and furnace twice yearly (this is actually a safety precaution protecting you against fire hazards that should be done anyway).
  • Change furnace filters every 3 months
  • If the litter box is indoors (it’s always best to keep litter boxes out of the house for reasons other than dander – like PARASITES), choose a dust-free litter rather than clay and use a face mask and gloves when cleaning up after kitty’s dirty work (YUCK).
All said and done, there ARE ways to lessen your discomforts when you have a pet as part of your family.
It takes some effort … but families always do.
All Cat Fans, Follow Me! 
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Damaging your Environment

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What We Do Daily Damages Our Environment
(What a Surprise ~ NOT!)

       Everywhere you look – magazines, newspapers, online articles, T.V. advertisements – we hear about reducing our ‘carbon footprint’ or that we’re damaging the environment.  I totally agree we are carelessly exposing the only planet we can survive on (that we know of) to extreme and cruel punishment that Mother Nature is getting sick and tired of!  And although we spend millions upon millions with special interest groups and hope & pray that businesses will start to be eco-conscience in their decisions, there really isn’t any practical advice coming down the pike to the consumer on how to help with common, every day issues of waste and pollution.  Issues that we unknowingly cause.  

One of America’s favorite pastimes (no, it’s not baseball) is swimming, boating and fishing.  Let’s look for a moment on how we power up our boats.  Those cheapy little pull-the-lever-twice engines give us 10 times more pollution in our water than the pull-the-lever-four-times engines do.  We’re talking about doubling a little bit of effort to get our boats racing across the water … we’re not speaking about someone diving into the water and pushing the thing … we’re talking about  just two strokes (pulls).  The chemical residue outboard motors create leaves an acidic deposit containing long-lasting carcinogens.  These boat motors lower the ph of the water which means that heavy metals will be released as the water becomes more acidic, thereby working their wicked way up the food chain until they become available for human consumption.  We’re looking at underwater pollution up to 1,000 % worse if we’d just bought the bit more expensive, four stroke engine. 

Seems a simple fix, doesn’t it?  But have you ever heard about it?  Doubtful.  This is the kind of information the general population needs in order to actually begin the process of saving themselves and the planet.

A recent report stated that 40% of greenhouse emissions were credited to agriculture!  We all know farmers use fertilizer, but what KIND of fertilizer are they using?  They probably don’t know and only care about the cost…the less expensive the better for their bottom line profit margins.  But by realizing that a small change can help reduce the total methane and nitrogen oxide content of our soil is a HUGE deal!  Bottom line for farmers:  improve the efficiency of fertilizer use.

Guess Who’s On TOP of the Waste-Chain???

  • Having only 5% of the world’s total population, the good, ‘ol US generates 25% of the global waste
  • Second in line is Russia
  • Third is Japan
  • Fourth is Germany, although it has a larger population (approximately 83+ million) so in terms of global waste it produces a mere 1/3 per person of what the United States does
  • Spain produces the least global waste

As we continue down the fast lane in the “land of the free and home of the brave”, just how much do we really think about our lifestyles, how changing just a couple of small things (such as recycling – do you do it?) might make a lasting impact on the planet and our life in it?  How about our energy sources?  We get our fair share of wind here in America – I do believe it blows all over the earth (just being a little sarcastic; sorry)…so why is DENMARK the leader in wind power for electricity production (they’re followed by German next, then Spain, lastly the UK)?

We supposedly live in the best place on earth, yet we must ask ourselves….
where are we
in the effort to sustain our planet?

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