Canned Anything Sucks

Canned prayers are like canned potato chips,canned soup or any kind of canned food. Canned food lacks vital nutrients necessary to sustaining our bodies. When we pray, God wants to hear each of our own distinct spirits; our spirit has its own unique voice. When your child asks you for something,,you hear their own unique voice. So why do religious people recite their religious prayers and incantations over and over? God doesn’t want canned voices that all sound the same  millennia  after millennia. Remember the old sit-coms ? You hear canned laughter in the back ground right? That means those voices we hear in those old TV shows are probably coming from dead people. We need fresh, un-canned expressions TODAY, not  from the past.

The disciples learned to pray from their Teacher. He didn’t tell them to recite The Lord’s prayer ; that was just a prayer manual, one they could follow and learn how to approach the King . Certainly not to say the same words over and over. Oh how religion wants everyone to be a Pringle’s Potato chip: All the same shape,same taste, all fit neatly together stacked in a metal can.. I believe heaven and its citizens crave to hear each unique voice on earth.

Unique self expression is the most powerful weapon a person can use. Your own voices unleashes things into the atmosphere and sets things in motion in the universe. Not one star is the same.Not one snow flake is the same. So why do people try so hard to be like some one else? Even our brains are wired differently. No 2 people on planet earth think exactly the same. So it’s reasonable that we’re all different voices  and each one of us must utter what is in our hearts to set things in motion. The Bible is not a here is what to say to God type of book. It goes beyond that. It’s a how to approach heaven using your own voice to unlock what is yours through the power of your own distinct expression. Heaven remains locked up when no one dares to step forward to use their own voice.

Martin Luther set the religious system upside down by nailing his own unique expression to the door of the established church. The whole universe was in an uproar when Galileo defied religion’s rules that dictated how the universe runs. Where are The Martin Luthers and Galileos of our time? Stand up and be heard if you’re one of them!!

” The Bible teaches how to get to heaven not how the heavens go.” -Galileo

EVA SANTIAGO copyright 2013



Last night was GREAT! I went to The Coffee House and read excerpts of my new book, SALSA! The Taste of Life,


at open mic night. What a great place to share my new book. Don Watkins, the owner is a people person who wants his clientele to enjoy themselves as much as possible.

I traveled all over Europe when I was in my teens and I remember sitting in those quaint European cafes just sipping on a soda and watching people. Don has brought that same European flavor to my little corner of the globe. The Coffee House is different because it’s not one of those major coffee house franchises that all tend to look and feel the same. The Coffee House has a unique ambiance of its own and I’m proud to say I will be launching my book from there.

Last night was Open Mic Night, an event that is held every Friday evening. People can come play music, read poetry and sing their hearts out and that’s just what I saw unfold before my very eyes. As a matter of fact, my son who plays guitar made his debut their last night too! He did great and the crowd enjoyed his talent.

So if you’re ever making plans for your Friday nights head on out to The Coffee House located on 117 S. Water StreetHendersonNV.. Bring your talent or, come hear others, you will be surprised!

-Eva Santiago copyright 2012

Label Pickle Jars NOT People!

Braille wine label on a bottle of Lazarus wine... Image via Wikipedia

I hate labels. There, that says it all.  I have but only one name I answer to and that is the name my daddy gave me at birth. To show how much I despise labels when I first met my husband he and I were arguing while on our way home. We were at a red light and he crossed the line by calling me a female dog; I went berserk for a minute and I just raised my foot and put it right through the windshield of his car. He never labeled me like that again!

From the time I lost my parents I was labeled an orphan, and might I add that happened to me at a very young age. Then later on the other labels came and it made me boil inside because all I wanted to do was be myself; and that’s hard to achieve when you are being constantly categorized, stereo typed and labeled. The only things that have to have labels are food products, medicines and anything else that is not a breathing, walking living soul with a heart.

I once went to a counselor to try to figure out somethings in my past. After I told her what I’d been through she never labeled me; she did me a huge favor and reminded me I was anything but a victim because I had over come so much with God‘s help. THAT was great news to hear and it set me free. This same counselor though, did my husband a disservice. After several sessions with him she labeled him co-dependant. Why was that a disservice to him? Because he began to cling to that label and it made him remain the same.  I have observed for several years now how labeling someone serves to cripple them and they stay bound by the words spoken over them.

Life and death are in the tongue. Our words can break  the shackles that bind us or they can serve to further imprison us. Label a child stupid and he will believe that he is stupid all of his life. Tell a child that she is brilliant and she will aspire to much. People are not jars of pickles so top labeling them!

2 years ago we met with a family counselor because we all had issues. After our first session Bruce, the counselor told my husband and I that our children are a cut above the rest of any kids he had ever met. Last night we hear something entirely different. We spoke with a well meaning person who after a couple of hours of listening to our family air out some very strong feelings in a counseling setting, said that my kids are victims. WTH? Things didn’t change so much in our home from the last time we saw a family counselor to now.  Be careful what you let some well meaning counselor speak over yourself or your children.

After this encounter, my kids came up to me right away and told me, ” Mom, how can that man call us victims when our last family counselor told us we are a cut above the rest? Mom, sure we’ve been hurt by stuff but that’s life! And, mom, victims are people who get hurt but they never get up, they stay there, wounded.”  My 15 year old daughter put it so eloquently, ” I just reign from my place of pain.” My kids let me know they didn’t appreciate what was spoken over them, they didn’t receive one bit of it. So my husband and I prayed over them and broke the power of those words.

God, I pray that you help all of us stop labeling one another. Give us eyes to see people they way you see us. You are such an awesome God because you never label us, you just call us your children. Help us do likewise.

Our Troops Need Us

Our Troops Need Us
US Navy 060615-N-5334H-097 A member of Girl Sc...
Image via Wikipedia

Have you ever become weary in doing the right thing? I sure have. The best thing to get out of that rut is to find someone to be kind to whether in word or deed. This war that’s been going on forever it seems, got me to thinking about how I used to send care packages to my brother when he served in the first and second Iraq wars. Well it’s been years since he’s been back and I have not known anyone directly to send care packages to so I haven’t done so.

 A couple of months ago a friend I met in my school days was deployed over seas and it never occurred to me until now to start sending him care packages. I figured he has a family, let them do that for him. That is until I saw a blog today with a photo that really bothered me. It was a young marine standing by an empty wood crate and the caption read: We need more care packages. Please send some! I thought, what if that was me, a lone soldier out there not being able to receive anything from back home? I would seriously hate to be THAT guy. So I made a trip to the store and I put together a care package for my friend.

I am posting a handy list I found of  in demand items our troops deployed over seas  need. Even if you don’t know a soldier, send a care package to a soldier, I hear they love it. It’s a good feeling when you know the little bit that you can contribute will make some one else’s life a little better. ^.^

Due to our Policies and Regulations, we CANNOT ACCEPT these items:

CONTRABAND ITEMS (live plants, tobacco, alcohol, knives, nudity, etc.)
HARD-COVER BOOKS & MUSIC CDS*  (*CDs accepted only at our North Carolina Branch)


For security and sanitary reasons, please leave all items in their original packages.
When purchasing items, please choose the latest expiration date possible.

Thank you for your cooperation and support!




  • COFFEE (Ground or whole; instant or drip. Ground is preferred)
  • POWDER DRINK MIX (Gatorade, Kool-Aid, Crystal Light)
  • TUNA & CHICKEN SALAD (in foil pouches, or ready-to-eat kits (no cans)
  • CHOCOLATE PRODUCTS accepted from OCTOBER through MARCH (it will melt in high temperatures!)

  • Hot Chocolate packets, Herbal teas
  • Hard Pretzels / Cheetos / Fritos / Chex Mix / Wheat Thins / Ritz

  • Gum / Hard Candy (must be individually wrapped in large bags)

  • Granola Bars / Power Bars / Cereal Bars / Cliff Bars

  • Fig Newtons, Oreos, Cheese & Crackers – Small Packs
  • Trail Mix, Dried Fruit, Granola, Fruit Roll-Ups / Fruit By The Foot / Fruit Gummies

  • DRY SOUP: (Ramen Noodles / Cup-O-Soup: just add water)

  • NUTS: Peanuts, Mixed Nuts (salted preferred)

  • MICROWAVE FOOD (Popcorn, Chef-Boy-R-Dee, Mac’n’Cheese…)

  • COOKIES / Girl Scout Cookies (with chocolate: Oct. – Feb. only!)

  • Rice Krispie Treats (Store-bought only)

  • Little Debbies® & Hostess® cake products

  • Oatmeal Packs (Instant: just add water)

  • Cereal (Small, individual boxes)

  • Condiments, Spices; Sugar; Salad Dressing (no glass jars)
  • Caffeinated gum or candy (to stay alert)

(Note: Some troops have allergies & need Brand Name toiletries which list all ingredients. The military issues and/or sells toiletries to our troops, however troops often miss their favorite brand of shampoo or soap. Our goal is to send troops reminders of home & items they miss … not free samples.)

  • BABY WIPES (travel size)

  • HAND SANITIZER (travel size)

  • Body Wash, Liquid Soap, Facial Cleanser

  • Shampoo /Conditioner (travel size)
  • Hair Gel (for female troops to pull hair back)
  • Combs / Brushes / Bobby Pins (in original packaging, please)

  • Deodorant (travel size)
  • Razors (disposable or “Intuition” or “Mach 3” types)
  • Shaving Cream in Tubes / Shaving Soap (No CANS of Shaving Cream, please!)
  • Lip balm / Chap Stick / Carmex / Blistex

  • Baby Powder & Foot Powder (travel size)

  • Tissues (individual packs; travel size only)
  • Hand & Body Lotion / Moisturizer (travel size)
  • Sunblock, SPF 45, Zinc, Vitamin E, Aloe Vera Gel

  • Bug Spray / DEET / Skin-So-Soft

  • Mouthwash (travel size)

  • Toothpaste & Toothbrushes & Dental Floss

  • Breath Mints / Breath Strips

  • Lozenges / Cough Drops
  • Loufa Sponges / Buff Puffs / Washcloths
  • Nail files / Emery Boards / Nail Clippers

  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Cotton Swabs (i.e. Q-tips) – also used to clean guns!
  • Cotton Balls

  • Band-aids, Gauze Pads, First Aid Kits / Ace bandages, Icy Hot or Bengay cream

  • Moleskin
  • Shoe Insole Cushions (gel kind is best)
  • Tylenol, Motrin, Advil or Aspirin Packets
  • Eye Drops (i.e. Visine)
  • Nasal Spray
  • Vitamins (multi-vitamins are always needed!)


  • BATTERIES: (AA, AAA, C & 9 Volt are the most requested)

  • DVD Movies (new or usedrecent releases only, please!)

  • Xbox Games, PSP, PS2 & PS3 Games (new or used)
  • iTunes® Gift Cards
  • 35 mm disposable cameras
  • Computer Flash Drives & Thumb Drives
  • Portable CD players / head phones
  • Electronic handheld games
  • Small homemade gifts – reminders & comforts of “home”

  • Small photographs or posters of scenery for their tents & walls
  • Pens & mechanical pencils, small note pads

  • Stationery & Envelopes; blank cards to send home

  • Double-sided tape, small crafts kits, scrap-booking items

  • Day planners / Calendars / Small, Pocket Calendars

  • Game Books: (Crossword Puzzles / Word Search Books / Math Puzzle books / MAD LIBS / Logic Problems / Sudoku)
  • Yo-Yo’s, Dominoes, Playing Cards (new), Poker Chips & Mats, Dice
  • Board games (UNO, Othello, Checkers – travel size is great, too!)
  • Dart Boards (regular or magnetic – any size)
  • Nerf Footballs / Whiffle bats, balls & Mitts / Sports equipment

  • Frisbees / Hackey sacks

  • Music CDs, Magazines & Books (Accepted ONLY at our NORTH CAROLINA BRANCH)


  • LINENS: Pillow cases, twin sheets, towels (green & tan)
  • T-SHIRTS: Cotton green & tan under shirts – new (Sizes: M, L & XL)
     [Note: The DOD banned “Under-Armor” shirts due to its material being potentially flammable & bad reactions to open wounds.]
  • FLASHLIGHTS – SMALL(battery operated. Surefire Brand preferred)
  • AIR FRESHENERS (standalone-not plug-in. Car types are also good)

  • SOCKS: Black, Olive Green & White (cotton or wool)
  • PHONE CARDS – Pre-Paid (Click HERE for Where to Buy and What Types of Phone Cards to Buy from Third-Party Vendors)
  • Gift Cards to send home to loved ones (for Restaurants, Supermarkets)
  • Small toys (Beanie babies) & school supplies for Iraqi & Afghan children

  • Patriotic knick-knacks, USA flags, flags from your state, bandanas, baseball hats, football jerseys, banners to tack on their walls or tents.
  • Black or Green duct tape, small tool kits, dust masks, carpentry tools, Fly swatters, fly paper, mosquito netting, bug repellent in plastic pump bottles only           (NO AEROSOL CANS, PLEASE!)
  • Paint brushes, adhesive wall hooks, sponges
  • Gun cleaning supplies (lube) such as Militec-1 & CLP
  • Generic sunglasses (Ballistic, black only. No “mirror” types)
  • Alarm Clocks (Small in size; wind-up or battery-operated)
  • Small, portable heaters & fans (110 voltage okay)
  • Fleece Blankets (Yes, it gets very cold in the winter over there!!)
  • Disposable Hand warmers and Foot warmers (in the wintertime)
  • Winter Hats (Yes, it snows in the winter over there! Hand knitted hats in black, tan or green are always welcome!)
  • Water Bottles, Travel Mugs & Thermoses with Lids, (for Coffee, Tea & Soup)
  • Coffee Makers & Filters (110 voltage okay)
  • Coffee Bean Grinders – small (electric or battery-operated)
  • Microwave Ovens (55 pounds max; 110 voltage okay)
  • Hot Pots – Small
  • Elixir & Water Purification Tablets for Camelbaks
  • Combat Application Tourniquets (black only)
  • Religious booklets, small bibles, inspirational readings
  • Holiday and Seasonal Decorations – see our PROGRAMS PAGE for details
  • K-9 items:
    Dog treats, toys, shampoo, flea collars, etc.
    (Note: CLICK HERE to see our restrictions and guidelines if you wish to donate items to the dogs. Thank you.)

  • CARDS & LETTERS: The troops love to hear from all of us and Mail brightens their days!  These are the MOST IMPORTANTitems we can send the troops & we can never have too many, so please keep writing! consider making a patriotic banner or poster to send inside one of our care packages!Note: Our troops do not need stamps as they’re in war zones & may send mail home to their loved ones at no charge, but our branches can always use stamps to send correspondence

The Good Ol’ Days…

Why do people long for “the good ol’ days” ? Don’t they realize that to younger folks that might sound as though they might be missing out on something? The so called “good ol’ days”  sounds to me like someone is having a hard time adjusting to these days.  So what do they call now,”The bad new days”? 

Seriously, I believe we are living in one of the most exciting time periods ever. I’m glad I wasn’t born in the Medieval times, or when the New World was being settled. I wonder what folks in times past would think of our lives today. I am certain they would have a  hard time adjusting to modern times as a modern person would who went back. Was life back then simpler really?

Upon closer inspection I would have to say no one in any time period has had it   easier than the next. Sure our ancestors did a lot of their work manually since machines were just being invented to lighten man’s load. But they fought and struggled just as we do. Our modern lives seem simple, but are they? With all of our technological advances are we smarter and better off?

If we were to be honest, I think we have to admit that we are more confused now than our ancestors ever were. We have information bombarding us daily; where the settlers of the American frontier had to fend off  the wild  in their environment, we have to fight our own wild beasts that demand our time and attention 24/7; the media, electronic gadgets,, government rules that encroach upon our liberties. This is   the wilderness we’re contending with daily.

Lastly, even though our ancestors lived shorter lives than we do, are we really living longer? Their food quality was better than ours; farmers grew food and let the soil rest every so often so as not to deplete the soil of its nutrients. Here in modern life we have to turn to supplements in order to ensure we are receiving the lost nutrients from our food. Medial advances have been majorly improved upon yet we have the highest rates of obesity, malnutrition and food allergies ever recorded. We may be living longer but not better lives.

So next time you look back and pine away for “the good ol’ days” why not make THESE days we are living now the best? One way to do so is to stop complaining about what was; for all you know you could be making a myth about a not so great time period. Live for today because that’s all we have. Don’t whine about the past; take the good from it and leave the rest behind. Regarding the future, remember that whatever you are doing right at this moment will affect your tomorrow, for better or worse. Today is your answer to the prayer you said yesterday.

Ecclesiates 7:10

Don’t ask why the old days were better than now, because that is a foolish question.

Ecclesiastes 7:8

The end of something is better than its beginning, so the patient are better than the proud.

Edge of Ice Cream & Cheez-it Songs :)

My 10 year old daughter loves to write rhymes and I want to  delight you with some of her work. Enjoy your ice cream and cheez-its!
I’m on the edge of ice cream,
and I’m holdin’ on to my sundae.
I’m on the edge of ice cream
and I’m eating my cherry on top.
I’m on the edge
the edge,
the edge,
the edge,
the edge,
the edge,
I’m on the edge of ice cream,
and I found myself in Yogurt Land,
Yogurt Land!
Cheez-it Song
Bye it, get it, eat it, CHEEZ-it!
Drink it, cool it, eat it, Cheez-it.
You know when you’re at the store,
you know you wanna get boxes and boxes
of Cheez-its and more.
So you have boxes of Cheez-its in your cart;
‘cos when you run out, you’ll get some at K-Mart.
It doesn’t matter if it’s in a chemical kit or a house…
RAQUEL BRINCAT Copyright 2011