TODAY’S TOPIC: A COAT OF MANY COLORS

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TODAY THE WORDS are A COAT OF MANY COLORS.  As the holiday season is coming, I saw an ad for the upcoming sequel to the movie Coat of Many Colors from Dolly Parton and starring a hometown multi-talented singer and actress Jennifer Nettles who plays Dolly Parton’s mother in the movie. I watched the first movie and plan on watching the sequel in December. What a story of family love and sacrifice this story based on the young life of Dolly Parton.

While we were enjoying our blessings and gatherings during Thanksgiving, it came very clear to me. It is not the big gifts of life we should cherish the most but the small tokens of love. It is the blessings of life which come in the form of a new born baby, the signs of love from the small children, the unconditional love of grown children who never forget all of the sacrifices we made for them, and the love of a spouse who makes us feel special even when we don’t feel special ourselves. Enjoy the holiday season but remember it is the little things which make the biggest impact on our lives.
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The coat used in the movie that is displayed in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee.

This was my original post about A Coat of Many Colors in 2013.

I received a message from a new Facebook friend, Tomylin Head this morning and her songs were so personally moving and unique, for some reason my mind went to another songwriter Dolly Parton who is unique too and writes songs directly from the heart so here is the message with a duo thanks to both of them. When, and it is still on a CD in my car, I listen to Dolly sing “Coat of Many Colors”; my heart is there with her at the school with her coat on wearing it so proudly, only to be ridiculed and mocked. Have you ever listened to this song? When I hear people complain, and I am not saying that a lot of people are not struggling today; I also hear people complain who have so much more than even I had growing up and we fared so much better than so many others and I guess that is the focus of this message. Without scolding, but trying to open some of our eyes, as to how much better life is for the majority of people in our country. Yes, we have economy problems but what if it was like it was during the depression? Yes, we have soldiers fighting in foreign countries; what if we were the families only now receiving the remains of their loved ones from wars like World War II, Korean War, or Vietnam War? Yes, we still have poverty; and with a few governmental changes of where our tax dollars go; our American hungry children could be fed instead of funding rebels in another country. Yes, we have people intent on moving God out of places and if the majority of Christians stood up and would stand firm; God hasn’t left; He is waiting for us to ask Him to show His Glorious Face. If we realize, in the midst of everyone complaining; we started praising God for all of our blessings; life would begin to sparkle and gain meaning in all of the little things we seem to take for granted. I, myself, find myself not praising enough for being able to move; breathe, laugh, work, and enjoy the life God gave us. Instead of complaining about “A coat of many colors” may we shout praises we have a coat which has been made with love! I am preaching to myself in this message; but if you can feel the meaning behind it; God has just blessed you too. Live life; love life, and live life to the fullest by counting your blessings instead of your miseries.


DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

Genesis 37:1-10                    

Jacob lived in the land of his father’s sojournings, in the land of Canaan. These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was pasturing the flock with his brothers. He was a boy with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives. And Joseph brought a bad report of them to their father. Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a robe of many colors. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peacefully to him. Now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more. …

(c) copyright 2012-2016 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. 


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WHO WILL INCLUDE ME IN THEIR THANKS?


WHO WILL INCLUDE ME IN THEIR THANKS? First, allow me to say Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Americans and anyone in this world can give thanks any day, so feel free to use this day as a way to feel gratitude for the good things in our lives. This morning, when I was praying and giving thanks for so many blessings in our lives, a thought ran through my mind. “Who will include my name when they are going over their list of what and who they are thankful in their lives?” Of course, this message rang through as a topic on my blog for us to ponder.

I am including a poem I recently wrote and it reflects a little on what impact our lives make and the most important reason for us to be thankful when we realize we have a Higher Power to guide us and protect us. Here it is:

Maybe I am in a deep probing mode, but it seems important we concentrate on what impact and how much good we can do for others to fill voids, add love, give charity, and feel compassion. One of the biggest goals we could set for ourselves is to give until others feel our love. Let us concentrate of being someone who, on a day like today or any other day, they say, “I am thankful for you.”

I found excellent points from an article and wanted to share with you. You can view the entire article by clicking on the link provided:

1. Focus on your own growth.
You have to be committed to on your own personal development. Ask yourself truthfully if you are really committed to your own personal growth. If you are, keep at at and develop yourself every day. If you are not, you should start committing yourself to your own growth. Read, learn, get trained, take risks… do things that helps you grow in wisdom, knowledge, understanding, relationship with people, the result you command etc
2. Offer More Value
There is no way people will know you as a person of value if you are not offering more value. You can’t say you are a medical doctor but you have never assisted anyone medically. Start offering the little value you have. By that, you grow more and in value. The more value you offer, the more you become a person of value. Offer more value daily.
3. Sharpen Your Skills
Do you have skills? If you say you don’t then you need to check yourself. There is no human being without a skill. You need to discover your skill. After which you need to sharpen that skill. The only way to sharpen that skill is to put it into practice, Put in into practice by using it as a point of value to other people. Skills are valuable.
4. Work Harder on Yourself
Always strive to be better than you were yesterday. You need to go to work on yourself. If you change, everything will change for you. You may change companies, you might change tactics, strategies or mentors but YOU are always the constant, and you will still be there. Strive to become a better person, and instead of comparing yourself with others, differentiate. The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday.
5. Value your Time
There is nothing more valuable than time invested wisely and intentionally. You can sow your time and get anything you want. You can sow your time and increase your circle of influence, make more money, or increase your health. Never waste this precious gift. Learn to see the value of time, because with time, anything can be accomplished.

Originally posted on The Book of Solutions as How to Become a Person of Value
https://be.linkedin.com/in/adesojiadegbulu

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May your blessings be many and your ability to bless others with your gifts and/or talents is my prayer for Thanksgiving! Wishing each and every day an opportunity for us to share our blessings with others……….HAPPY THANKSGIVING from Arline L Miller, author and blogger.

(c) Copyright 2012-2016 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location for reference credit.

IN EVERYTHING, GIVE THANKS

IN EVERYTHING, GIVE THANKS.  As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, we find ourselves involved in so many activities it can be overwhelming. Today, before the big hooplah begins, let us take a few minutes to be thankful to be alive to give thanks. Life can be short; life has to be lived to the fullest. Yesterday, after four years of blogging, my page views passed 150,000 page views. This was exciting and I gave thanks but you might be surprised what I gave thanks. I thanked God for the viewers not the views. It is not required for you to read my blog and if you have never read it before; that is truly okay. I am thankful you are reading it while I am acknowledging the viewers. God wants us to share thoughts with each other. 
While we are giving thanks, let us remember who are less fortunate and what we can do to help others have reasons to be thankful. If you cannot give money; give time. If you cannot solve someone’s problems; pray for God to solve them. If you are feeling helpless; be thankful for a God to call upon to aid you and bring you up from the pits of hell. If saved; be thankful God kept dealing with your heart until you listened. There are so many things to be thankful for……EVERYTHING!
This is my Thanksgiving post from a few years past: Giving Thanks is always in style.
On this Thanksgiving morning may we give thanks for all of the big blessings and may we remember to give thanks for all of the little blessings also. It is easy to give thanks for the miracles of healing; it is important to give thanks for the safe return home from a trip to see a sick family member or friend. We need to be thankful for the blessing of changing the oil in our vehicles rather than to have to walk everywhere we go. We want to give thanks for paying taxes because we have a job instead of being jobless and sometimes homeless. We want to give thanks for having to choose where we want to eat instead of those foraging in trash cans for a morsel to eat. We want to see the blessing in paying the utility bill; it says we are warm and comfortable, cool and dry when others are outside trying their best to keep from freezing or having a heat stroke or sick from being wet from the rain. We want to give thanks for the decision when we go to our closets to pick out the outfit for the day while others are layering rags to keep warm. We need to remind ourselves when we are choosing our home décor and are picking out colors when others only have an alley or a cardboard box for their homes. When we look at life, let us give thanks for all of the many blessings we receive and give to others who are giving thanks for being alive.
Live life; love life; and live life to the fullest by loving all; giving all which is possible to give; and receiving with thankfulness.
 
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:


King James Bible

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1 Thessalonians 5:18


In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.



(C) Copyright 2012-2016 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material sourced to original location for reference credit.

TODAY THE WORDS are COLORS OF LAW


TODAY THE WORDS are COLORS OF LAW. Where can I go with this topic, you may ask. In courts, we have heard over and over, the law is clear, and it is either black or white. It is defined by the letter of the law. We have used the terminology to express some event or thinking as black or white. Judges speak out after the media hyped cases they had to make their rulings, decisions, or what evidence was entered based on the way the law reads and not their personal beliefs. This is truly stating the black or white description of the law. However, when did moral “laws” become gray? In today’s world, we see a blurring of the moral codes in so many fashions. When children dress so inappropriately, pierce, or tattoo themselves to the point of embarrassment, it seems society has decided these are gray areas and use the terms, “they are just expressing themselves”. I realize, as I can imagine so many of the readers are reacting to my statements as judgmental. I would apologize but I go back to my upbringing which was a strict life, but a good life. My parents would not have allowed me or my sister to have gone out of the house with inappropriate dress or makeup. They would not have allowed language I hear children using which is not flattering to them. For the life of me, I don’t even have a clue as to what they would have thought of body piercing except for “freaky”. I understand I am stepping on toes, but here is the point, not my point, but an observation. If you expect your children to respect you as a parent, have you thought if they don’t see black and white they get confused on what is acceptable or not.

Children look to their parents and yes, they are influenced by celebrities but that isn’t to be used as okay, as all of you can remember we had celebrities too. Thank goodness, most of them kept their clothes on. The gray area is where children get confused and I think parents do too. The point of grayness is controversial and it is still up to the individual parent to voice their approval or disapproval. Why are parents so hesitant about guiding their children or is it a lack of interest? Have parents become distracted from being true parents? Are they occupied with their interests and let the children loose? Have you thought they may be trying to get your attention with their actions? I may be sounding harsh, but my thoughts are some of the actions may go away with age but it is our job as parents to nourish our children and not only with food.

Love will become more important if a child feels respected, loved, cherished, and honored. If they respect you; they will follow “most” of your values. Parents earn this respect and have to maintain a black and white rule of developing moral values in their children. Live life, love life, and live life to the fullest with a clear set of moral values and displayed with love.

Social Media and Kids: Some Benefits, Some Worries
3/28/2011

Pediatricians are adding another topic to their list of questions for visits with school-aged and adolescent patients: Are you on Facebook?  Recognizing the increasing importance of all types of media in their young patients’ lives, pediatricians often hear from parents who are concerned about their children’s engagement with social media.
To help address the many effects—both positive and negative—that social media use has on youth and families, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued a new clinical report, “The Impact of Social Media Use on Children, Adolescents and Families” in the April issue of Pediatrics (published online March 28). The report offers background on the latest research in this area, and recommendations on how pediatricians, parents and youth can successfully navigate this new mode of communication.
“For some teens and tweens, social media is the primary way they interact socially, rather than at the mall or a friend’s house,” said Gwenn O’Keeffe, MD, FAAP, co-author of the clinical report. “A large part of this generation’s social and emotional development is occurring while on the Internet and on cell phones. Parents need to understand these technologies so they can relate to their children’s online world – and comfortably parent in that world.” See Dr. O’Keefe discussing social media at the following links:
Balancing media use with other activities
Today’s digital kids
Don’t fear social media
According to a Common Sense Media poll from August 2009, 22 percent of teenagers log on to their favorite social media site more than 10 times a day, and more than half of adolescents log on to a social media site more than once a day. Seventy-five percent of teens now own cell phones, and 25 percent use them for social media, 54 percent for texting, and 24 percent for instant messaging.
The new AAP guidelines include recommendations for pediatricians to help families navigate the social media landscape, including:
Advise parents to talk to children and adolescents about their online use and the specific issues that today’s online kids face, such as cyberbullying, sexting, and difficulty managing their time.
Advise parents to work on their own “participation gap” in their homes by becoming better educated about the many technologies their children are using.
Discuss with families the need for a family online-use plan, with an emphasis on citizenship and healthy behavior.
Discuss with parents the importance of supervising online activities via active participation and communication, not just via monitoring software.
The AAP report outlines the positive effects of social media. Engagement in social media and online communities can enhance communication, facilitate social interaction and help develop technical skills. They can help tweens and teens discover opportunities to engage in the community by volunteering, and can help youth shape their sense of identity. These tools also can be useful adjuncts to—and in some cases are replacing—traditional learning methods in the classroom.
But because tweens and teens have a limited capacity for self-regulation and are susceptible to peer pressure, they are at some risk as they engage in and experiment with social media, according to the report. They can find themselves on sites and in situations that are not age-appropriate, and research suggests that the content of some social media sites can influence youth to engage in risky behaviors. In addition, social media provides venues for cyberbullying and sexting, among other dangers. Youth who are more at-risk offline tend to also be more at-risk online.
“Some young people find the lure of social media difficult to resist, which can interfere with homework, sleep and physical activity,” Dr. O’Keeffe said. “Parents need to understand how their child is using social media so that they can set appropriate limits.”
Parents also should educate their children about the ways social media sites can capture personal information about users, Dr. O’Keeffe said. Young people can harm their reputations and safety by posting personal and inappropriate information. And information about sites they visit may be captured and used to target them with advertising.
The report includes a link to parenting tips, “Talking to Kids and Teens About Social Media and Sexting”.
Editor’s Note: The AAP offers additional resources about online safety for children and teens, including its Internet Safety Site at http://safetynet.aap.org and www.healthychildren.org.
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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.


DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Ephesians 6:1-4                    

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

(c) copyright 2012-2016 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.

FOCUS ON NATURE’S BEAUTY TO CREATE



FOCUS ON NATURE’S BEAUTY TO CREATE. 

I am a writer, working on my second novel but it is so easy to be distracted by “noisy noise”. Media, whether it be social media, the news media, or just chit chat. This brought me to this photo which was on Twitter. I found myself calming while gazing at the beauty. I found a source of focus and wanted to share a tip which if chosen can be applied to all of us.

fo·cusˈfōkəs/Submit
noun1.
the center of interest or activity.
“this generation has made the environment a focus of attention”
synonyms: center, focal point, central point, center of attention, hub, pivot, nucleus, heart, core, cornerstone, linchpin, cynosure
“schools are a focus of community life”
an act of concentrating interest or activity on something.
“our focus on the customer’s requirements”
synonyms: emphasis, accent, priority, attention, concentration More
GEOLOGY
the point of origin of an earthquake.MEDICINE
the principal site of an infection or other disease.
LINGUISTICS
the part of a sentence given prominence, usually for emphasis or contrast, e.g., Bob in it was Bob who came, not Bill.
2.
the state or quality of having or producing clear visual definition.“his face is rather out of focus”
synonyms: focal point, point of convergence More
another term for focal point.
the point at which an object must be situated with respect to a lens or mirror for an image of it to be well defined.
a device on a lens that can be adjusted to produce a clear image.
3.
GEOMETRY
one of the fixed points from which the distances to any point of a given curve, such as an ellipse or parabola, are connected by a linear relation.verbverb: focus; 3rd person present: focuses; past tense: focused; past participle: focused; gerund or present participle: focusing; 3rd person present: focusses; past tense: focussed; past participle: focussed; gerund or present participle: focussing
1.
(of a person or their eyes) adapt to the prevailing level of light and become able to see clearly.“try to focus on a stationary object”
cause (one’s eyes) to focus.
“trying to focus his bleary eyes on Corbett”
adjust the focus of (a telescope, camera, or other instrument).
“they were focusing a telescope on a star”
synonyms: bring into focus; More
(of rays or waves) meet at a single point.
(of a lens) make (rays or waves) meet at a single point.
(of light, radio waves, or other energy) become concentrated into a sharp beam of light or energy.
(of a lens) concentrate (light, radio waves, or energy) into a sharp beam.
2.
pay particular attention to.“the study will focus on a number of areas in Wales”

FOCUS is one of the best ingredients for the formula for success. Let me say it this way, “How many times have you sat and pondered (or in essence, focused) on one simple word, photo, poem, etc. until you had an idea of your own. It simply came to you. The possible reason for the result? FOCUS. You were able to eliminate the white noise of this world and tune into your inner self.

TUNE OUT; TUNE IN! Focus on something like this photo or an object in nature itself. Look intently at the object, animal, photo or image until you don’t hear the outside, distracting noise and I feel you will be enlightened to new thoughts or ideas.

(C) Copyright 2012-2016 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third part material sourced to original location for credit reference.

TODAY’S ELECTION IS SPECULATION

LUNA ROSE IS SPECULATING IF SHE WILL BE A BLOG STAR

TODAY THE WORD is SPECULATION. With so much turmoil and talk of our Presidential election, the stock market is “speculating” and reacting by the Dow Jones average dropping significantly. This is one of the meanings of speculation (2) as seen below.

  1. the forming of a theory or conjecture without firm evidence.
    “there has been widespread speculation that he plans to quit”
  2. investment in stocks, property, or other ventures in the hope of gain but with the risk of loss.
    “the company’s move into property speculation”
This topic is focused on the 1st meaning of speculation which affects us common folks the most. Speculation or the forming of a theory or conjecture without firm evidence happens a lot in our environment, at either work or home. It is easy to form theory (or as I like to call it an opinion) without all of the facts and react to others due to this speculation. When I think back, especially when I was younger, it was easy to make assumptions, and speculate as to how someone else felt. The phrase “quick to judge” was an attitude which was present and I am not saying this as something to be proud of; as a matter of fact I will speculate it was destructive in several areas of my life. As I grew older, and as I had experienced more life experiences; I grew slower to judge things. As I grew closer in my faith; I became more understanding; not more accepting of many things; but more understanding in how someone was a certain way or they had not found their way. I would like others to ponder this thought, if we are not to judge others and we are not to do that; how do we teach our young people what is wrong? How do we not speculate on others actions? How do we love without judgment and scorn? How do we teach and not preach so much? Life is a puzzle and some pieces are harder to place than others. I don’t have the answers to life but I know where to look and what to do when I need answers and how quiet I need to be while looking for the answers. What is not speculation but a firm knowledge of how life became easier when I accepted a great source of “the book of knowledge” and found God’s word. When I slow my human thoughts down and seek with earnest, pray with determination, and expect with strong faith, God can be heard. Without speculation and with a lot of faith, I can accept some things I found hard to accept and allow God to work those issues out. I do not want to speculate a forever destination; I read the “roadmap of Heaven” on a daily basis.

DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

King James Bible 1 Timothy 1:4Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.

(c) copyright 2013 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.

FEELING A LITTLE SPANISH THIS MORNING?



FEELING A LITTLE SPANISH THIS MORNING? I am not sure how many of you are going to remember eating THE SPANISH BAR CAKE bought at A & P grocery store. I haven’t thought of them in years but about a week ago, out of the clear blue sky I had the urge to have one. I wasn’t sure they even made them still or if I could buy one. Being diabetic, I soon mastered the urge and decided to not go on a mission to find out. Leave it alone, my body said and I did. However, the craving set into motion the memories surrounding this cake. When I was a child and my family lived in Chicago, my mother worked long shifts and this limited her baking time. Then we discovered this sweet delight, The Spanish Bar Cake with that icing. I honestly believe it was the softest, sweetest cake but it was that smooth, sweet icing mixed with that spicy cake that can still make my mouth drool. It was the highlight of our day when we knew this was our treat. Some of you may be thinking….”What could be so special about a loaf cake splashed with white icing?” 
Yesterday, I had a break between my work and was waiting on the programmers to give me the go ahead on some changes I had requested. I hadn’t talked to my sister in a while and wanted to take advantage of those few precious free moments. I called her and we caught up on some lost time. It was a good call and I was pleased to find out how they were doing. During the call, I was explaining I had intended on baking another pound cake and sending her half of it, but my daughter’s time was cut short due to a job call (she is a stylist in CA) and she had to leave sooner, so no time to bake the cake. I said to my sister, “Juanelle, do you know what I had a craving for the other day? Spanish Bar Cake that we used to get from the A & P” and her reaction was so laughable. She laughed and said she already knew what I was going to say. She had the same craving and actually went into an A & P to see if they had them. On the sales brochure, they not only advertised them, they were on sale for 
$ 4.99. She looked all over the store and they were SOLD out.  She hesitantly bought a Red Velvet version of the bar cake and left. 
We shared a good laugh and talked about it as if it were a national treasure. I thought about this cake and wondered if my memory is as good as I think it is. Is the Spanish Bar Cake as delicious as my childhood memory recalls? Maybe, or maybe it was a family tradition enjoyed by a bunch of children which made it so good? Yesterday while talking and laughing with my sister, I realized it might be the love we share which added more sweetness to that cake. 
Now for the deeper thought…..Our time with loved ones is to be cherished and actually craved as we craved that childhood sweetness of the cake. Time is to be set aside to spend remembering the special times we have shared. In other words…..Share the cake of life with your loved ones. It will be far less calories and the loving taste will outlast any Spanish Bar Cake. LIVE LIFE; LOVE LIFE; AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST by filling each moment with LOVING THOUGHTS.


BTW I FOUND A RECIPE FOR THIS CAKE SO I THOUGHT I WOULD SHARE IT.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwj2yLbFhI_QAhVGJiYKHaV-AwAQFggkMAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.justapinch.com%2Frecipes%2Fdessert%2Fcake%2Fthe-real-spanish-bar-cake.html&usg=AFQjCNFVVqWGaX6GqQiYClk4xidTD3oM6g&sig2=Rf2orDFuETcMroWRBo71CA&bvm=bv.137901846,d.eWE

Ingredients
2 c flour
1-1/2 c sugar
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice, ground
1/2 c vegetable oil
2 c applesauce
2 medium eggs…slightly beaten
1 c raisins…..plump them in warm water,drain and use. .(add these last, after everything else is mixed)

………..frosting…….
8 oz cream cheese …softened
4 Tbsp butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/2 c confections sugar
1/3 c milk
1 Tbsp lemon juice, fresh walnuts are an option…your choice

Directions Step-By-Step
 1 Gather your spices and the other ingredients together.
In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar and baking soda.
Then add the cocoa,cinnamon,salt,nutmeg and allspice.
Mix well.
 Direction Photo
2 Next add the vegetable oil,applesauce,and the beaten eggs.
When all of the above is mixed,
Add the plumped raisins.
Put in a greased and floured 9×13 cake pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30to35 minutes
In a pre-heated oven.
3 FROSTING:
Mix the cream cheese,butter,vanilla,
confectioners sugar, milk and
lemon juice together.
Spread on the cake
****YOUR OPTION:
To make a layer cake, just like the original Spanish Bar Cake (see main foto) cut the cake into 2 pieces, then spread the frosting between the layers and on the top.
Step back in time and enjoy this great cake!

(C) COPYRIGHT 2012-2016 Arline L Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material sourced to original location for reference credit.