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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Struggle to Flight

"A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If we go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never fly!"

~~ from the Streams In The Desert devotional book by Mrs. Charles Cowman ~~

Monday, April 29, 2013

Dove's Eye

These birds I spied just outside my kitchen window within about five minutes of time.
It was sight of the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak (top right) that made me grab the camera.
I wanted to show it to my husband since we've never seen one here before...
and yes, he will humor me and show interest :-) 

Almost every bird loves the suet, and on this day there is a special treat...
a pile of cracked, stale pecans! 






 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And have you ever noticed
a dove's eye

I really admire
God's detail-work!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Sunday, April 28, 2013

Walls

Simple painting techniques that we've used in our home...

The pale green walls were painted white and then we used a wadded plastic (Wal-Mart) bag to add the subtle green tones. This is a good option to cover blemishes in texture of walls, or to give a fresh look without painting the whole thing. Takes alot less paint, and alot less time, and makes alot less mess :-) Pour paint in the deep end of paint tray, wad your bag (with inked side turned inside), and dip lightly in paint. Blot paint on higher end of tray before applying to wall. Use a gentle pounding motion in random directions till you like the look of it.

The leaves, berries, and bird's nest were painted using a stencil and stencil brush and acrylic paints.  "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!"  Believe me, if we can do it, you can too!

The wall with the checkerboard pattern was painted beige. Then a bit of white paint was added to the beige to make a slightly lighter color, and it was sponged on leaving an empty space in between each sponge print. Again, dip sponge lightly in the tray of paint, and blot on higher end of tray before applying to wall. On our wall the color difference is so subtle that you have to stand at a certain angle to even realize there is a pattern. It's just a bit of added interest that my daughter added to one short wall, and I love it!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Every Little Happy Butterfly

I have fond memories of listening to my aunt and uncle sing when we'd visit in their home.
He would play the guitar or harmonica, and they'd sing a gentle harmony.
One of their favorite songs was "Every Little Happy Butterfly". 

Summer skies so bright and fair, 
Soft warm breezes on the air, 
Smiling faces everywhere
Show a Father's care.

Every little happy butterfly, 
Every little bird up in the sky,
Every little violet of blue
Says, "Look up to God above 
Who gives them all to you."

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Beautiful Illustrations

Like opening a hidden treasure...that's what it feels like 
when I find a sweet book with beautiful illustrations.

Such was the case when I ran across this one in my local library.


This book is full of vibrantly life-like paintings throughout.
And now I've discovered another "favorite" artist!  
You can view more of his work here.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Queen of the Night

I photographed the bud yesterday, and this morning there is the bloom!
From my research I think it is called Selenicereus grandiflorus or Queen of the Night. 
It's an ugly, sprawling, prickly cactus...but the bloom is really beautiful :-) 

Shall I confess? 
I picked this plant up in a broken pot alongside the road several years ago :-) 


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Aprons!

Made a few aprons and they are for sale in my Etsy shop!
I plan to make more this week and will keep you posted :-)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Honey Carrots

Scrape 3 lbs. carrots w/ potato peeler, cut off both tips of each carrot, and slice. 
Put into 2 quart pan and add water about 1/3 as deep as carrots.
To season, add 1/4 c. butter, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, 2 Tbs. honey, and black pepper to taste. 
  • Cook over high heat till boiling, then reduce heat and cook till tender, making sure water doesn't all boil out. Cooking should take about 30 minutes.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

In The Dark


So on another venture to take pics of my flowers at night, 
I spied this fuzzy beetle eating yellow rose petals.
The next night, I walked into a spider's web, 
and discovered this yellow spider 
coming to wrap up his supper.
Maybe the fuzzy beetle?


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Re-Purposed Drawer



Paint the drawer 
inside & out 
with semi-gloss paint.
Allow to dry & cure 
at least a couple days. 

Decide what you want to 
decorate your drawer with. 
I used a calendar page, 
some wallpaper border, 
a paper flower, some trim, 
and finally a bird's nest. 

Brush on Mod Podge 
wherever you plan to apply 
your accents and such. 
Then arrange as you want, 
smooth out air bubbles, 
and add more Mod Podge 
to protect paper surfaces. 
You may need to apply 
another coat or two 
after each layer dries. 

Use your imagination
and have fun! 




1,000 Views!

As of today, there have been 1,000 views on my blog! 
It's been slow in growing an audience, but I intend to persevere!

The goals of my blog are: 

To share our life with family and friends...especially with our children who live away from home :-)

To give myself an outlet for expression and to document thoughts about the things I love.
To have a reason to take pictures on a daily basis and to have somebody to share them with. 

To direct attention to my Etsy shop. And to motivate me to build my Etsy shop.
In other words, to keep me on my toes :-) 


So, thanks to you, the readers, for coming along on this journey! 
I am a new blogger, and I appreciate your faith and interest in this blog. 
I may have have 1,000 one-time viewers or 10 faithful ones, but thanks to YOU, whoever you are!  
I would encourage you to leave comments on any of the blogs that interest you, and 
your feedback will allow me to know my audience, and will most definitely encourage this blogger!







Friday, April 19, 2013

Like Pearls

“After all," 
Anne had said to Marilla once, 
"I believe the nicest and sweetest days 
are not those on which anything very splendid 
or wonderful or exciting happens, 
but just those that bring 
simple little pleasures, 
following one another softly, 
like pearls slipping off a string."

― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea, Chapter 19

Thursday, April 18, 2013

This Talent


Here is a photograph I took from a 2011 Marjolein Bastin calendar.
I appreciate her obvious love for nature, her attention to detail, 
and this talent with which she makes it all look so realistic. 
Find more of her work on Pinterest

~~~I save lovely calendars and randomly incorporate them in my scrapbooks.~~~ 



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Bundt O' Bread


Pumpkin Bread


3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour    ~   3 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking soda    ~   2 tsp. salt    ~   1 tsp. baking powder
 4 eggs    ~   15 ounces solid-pack pumpkin    ~   3/4 cup oil   ~   2/3 cup water
2 tsp. ground cinnamon    ~   1 c. pecan halves    ~   1 c. raisins

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, pumpkin, oil and water. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in pecans & raisins. Pour into metal bundt pan. Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Two In One!


Pillow Case dress...or dresses...because it's reversible!!! 
Started and completed this project today, and have the pictures to prove it! 

Even Rainy Days



Monday, April 15, 2013

Player


I've truly enjoyed our player piano
and delight in sharing the old, familiar tunes with family and friends. 

But I think the greatest reward of all is watching a child 
who discovers for the first time that a piano can play "by itself".

Typically they are fascinated for awhile, 
then giggle, and maybe twirl with the whimsical notes, 
and finally ask, "Can we play it again?" 

These children were absorbed in the classic Mary Poppins songs.  




Sunday, April 14, 2013

Flowers Appear


"For, lo, the winter is past,
the rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth;
the time of the singing of birds is come..."
Song of Solomon 2:11-12



Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Poem

These Shall Find

The steady hand can never find the deep things of the Lord;
The undimmed eyes can never see the comfort in His Word;
The joyous heart can never know the healing of His love;
The learned mind can never grasp the wisdom from above.

But, oh, the trembling hand clasps His and loses all its fear;
The weeping eyes can search His Word and read His promise clear;
The broken heart rests in His love until its faith prevails;
The childlike mind can reach the source where wisdom never fails.

By Annie Johnson Flint

Find more of her poems at

Friday, April 12, 2013

For All




For flowers that bloom about our feet;

For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet;

For song of bird, and hum of bee;

For all things fair we hear or see,

Father in heaven, we thank Thee!”


- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Seeds of Rainbows


“It always amazes me to look at the little, wrinkled brown seeds and think of the rainbows in 'em," said Captain Jim. "When I ponder on them seeds I don't find it nowise hard to believe that we've got souls that'll live in other worlds. You couldn't hardly believe there was life in them tiny things, some no bigger than grains of dust, let alone colour and scent, if you hadn't seen the miracle, could you?”

― L.M. Montgomery, Anne's House of Dreams



Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Healthy Countenance


1982 Dakin Cheery Teary doll

"Why art thou cast down , O my soul?
and why art thou disquieted within me?
hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him,
who is the health of my countenance, and my God."

Psalm 42:11




Monday, April 8, 2013

A Time to Heal


A friend found this little Savannah Sparrow in her field unable to fly.
With feathers all scruffed, the little bird could only hop.
My son patiently took care of it for about 10 days
till it healed and gained strength to fly again.
It sat content and secure in his hand
and soaked up his kind attention.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Impossibles


These cookies are called "Impossibles"
because they contain no flour!

They are the easiest cookies I've ever made...
you can quickly whip up a batch on a whim.

1 c. peanut butter
1 c. sugar
1 egg

1 c. chocolate chips (optional)

Mix main ingredients together; then add chocolate chips.

I use an ice cream scoop to shape them, and it makes 8-12 cookies,
depending on the size on the scoop.

Friday, April 5, 2013

"From Scratch"


Pancakes so wonderfully fluffy ...you will want to share with those you love!

2 c. self-rising flour  +  2 T. sugar
2 T. melted butter  +  2 eggs
1 c. milk  +  1/2 c. sour cream
blueberries (optional)

Mix flour & sugar, then add milk, melted butter, eggs & sour cream
whisking all together till lumps are eliminated.
Add oil to non-stick skillet, then drop appx. 2/3 c. of batter for each pancake.
Top w/ blueberries and let cook slowly. Then flip over to cook other side.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Leapin' Lizards


In a garden bed of blooming aloe plants the lizards are thriving! 
More lizards than I've ever seen in one place...
and you could hear them leaping from one plant to the next!  
In the first picture, a lizard is savoring the morning dew with his tiny pink tongue.
I can't say I really like lizards, but it does fascinate me that God designed them
with care for the most intricate details,  even to their pretty blue "eye shadow"!

 

Spins on Spaghetti


Spaghetti Spins

4 - 6 oz. uncooked spaghetti

12 oz. John Morrell skinless smoked sausage
1/3 c. olive oil 
1 small onion, 1/2 bell pepper
1 c. baby carrots

Cook spaghetti according to package directions and drain.
Meanwhile, chop onion and bell pepper. Quarter baby carrots into 4 strips length-wise.  
Saute these vegetables in olive oil till onions are translucent. 
Slice smoked sausage into thin / medium  discs and add to vegetables. 
Cover w/ lid and let cook till carrots are desired tenderness. 
Now add your drained spaghetti and toss to serve.   

2ND OPTION:
Melt 2 Tbs. butter over low heat. Add 1 rounded Tbs. flour & stir well.
Slowly incorporate 1 c. water or milk to make a sauce + 1/2 c. sour cream. 
Add 1/2 tsp. Wyler's chicken granules for flavor. Mix well. 
Pour over spaghetti spins and stir together. 
Top w/ freshly ground black pepper if desired.  


This recipe is inexpensive, easy, quick
...and simply delicious!



Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Rose Garden


   Went to a local park and found these lovely roses in bloom.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Monday, April 1, 2013

Fudge Sauce


Hot Fudge Sauce

4 squares unsweetened chocolate
1/2 c. butter
1/4 tsp. salt
3 c. sugar
1 can evaporated milk   

Melt chocolate & butter in pan over low heat.
Add other ingredients and cook just until it starts boiling and sauce thickens. 
Serve immediately or pour into jars and refrigerate till needed. 
You may easily reheat in the microwave or over low heat on the stove. 
Yields 2 pints.