Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Time To Sew

Yesterday I began a baby quilt...hopefully the first of many. I have quite a stash of fabric and just need to get back in the practice of sewing. My gears are turning with so many ideas, and I am eager to see  tangible accomplishment.

So much of life as a Mom is spent in maintaining...washing dishes, doing laundry, cleaning floors, cooking meals, and then turning around and doing it all over again.

I am thankful to be able to do those things. I am also thankful to have time now to sew, to craft, and to try new things.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Delicate Dots

Such a
small, delicate
of sweetness...

Narcissus blooms
dotting my yard
with beauty.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Simply Succulent

Bought a raw ham for $.99 /lb., sprinkled it with Louisiana Cajun seasoning,
added 1/4 c. water to the dish, and put in the oven.
Baked it @ 400 for 30 minutes, then turned to 300 for 3 1/2 hrs.
During the last hour, added thin wedges of potatoes (sprinkled w/ salt),
and a bit of barbecue sauce on the meat to form a nice glaze.
That's all! Nothing fancy, nothing difficult...
but the meat was very tender and juicy,
the potatoes cooked to perfection,
and altogether a very simple and tasty meal.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Pure and Lovely

Just finished watching this...a daughter narrates the true story of her family, her parents, and especially her father.
There are so many reasons why I really loved this movie!
This is possibly the best portrayal I've ever seen on film of how a marriage should be. And the roles of mother, father, and children... well, you'll have to watch it for yourself. 

It reminded me of the verse in Philippians 4:8,
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Banana, Pecans & Pineapple

Yesterday I veered from the instructions and made this cake in a bundt pan w/ no frosting.
And was it acceptable? More like exceptional!! Not too rich, but very moist and yummy.
Just right for breakfast this morning :-) My version of the recipe is listed below:

3 c. all purpose flour       2 c. sugar       1 tsp. salt       1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. oil       3 eggs      1 1/2 tsp. vanilla        8 oz. crushed pineapple    
4 ripe bananas, mashed       1 c. chopped pecans

Combine dry ingredients.  Add eggs and oil, stirring into dry ingredients,
just until all is moistened.  Combine rest of ingredients into this.
Bake in bundt pan @ 350 till an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Little Things

So intricately detailed...reminding me that God cares about the little things in my life too.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Bright and Beautiful

Went out and hunted down these bits of bright color in my yard :-)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Simple and Saucy

Now this is as close as I can get to what my Grandma aptly called "cooked tomatoes". Used as a condiment in those simpler days in western Kentucky, my Mom's family hardly served a meal without beans and/or peas...with cooked tomatoes on top! It's part of my heritage :-) I came to love it, and my children came to love it.

To make it properly, you pick vine-ripened tomatoes out of a country garden, then you bring them in, wash them, peel them, and dice in medium chunks. Put in a pan and add salt, pepper, sugar, and bacon grease. Cook over low-medium heat till softened. Mash with a potato masher till your arm is ready to fall off, or until they are as smooth as possible. Then pour them up into a bowl and be prepared to do this all again soon as they will disappear right under your nose!

I must confess, however, that I "cheated" and used a large can (28 oz.) of petite diced tomatoes. Pour into a blender and puree briefly, which will make it look a bit foamy, but that will go away. Now pour the tomatoes into a pan, add 1/4 c. sugar, 1 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. black pepper, and 1 Tbs. bacon fat. Cook all over low-medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. It's almost as good as Grandma's, and yummy enough for me!!!

Update: Crushed tomatoes is just perfect for's thicker and you don't have to puree :-) 

Pinching Pennies #1

For several months now, our family has used this homemade detergent,
and we are very pleased with the results...and with the money saved! 
I buy all the ingredients at our local Wal-Mart in the detergent aisle.

2 bars grated Fels Naptha Soap,   3 cup Washing Soda,   4 cup Borax

Grate the Fels Naptha, then put in a food processor with a chopping blade
and chop until fine. Add the Borax and Washing Soda and blend until combined.
Use ¼ c. per load.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Suet and Sunshine

I put out some suet and am rewarded with this little bit of sunshine
that darts to and from the feeder all day long. 

I think it may be a Nashville Warbler.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Trusting Him

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
― Corrie ten Boom

Saturday, January 19, 2013

A New Venture

Today I step into the world of blogging. 
In this fast-paced world of ours, it pays to take time
to reflect upon the little pleasures, the abundant blessings,
the tasty morsels, the intriguing discoveries...
Ah, and to share these things with whoever will listen
makes it even more sweet!

I feel I am entering a new phase of my life...
having raised eight children and now alone in the house
more than usual.  It gets pretty quiet sometimes,
with just the whispery chirps of my tiny waxbills
in the next room, and the songs of the varied finches
in the aviary outside my window. However, it does free me
to pursue things that I didn't make time for before,
and blogging will be one of those new ventures.