Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Enjoying Our Homes


Snowing very softly today. 

Hello ladies!  As you can see, the snow is coming down rather prettily.  It won't amount to much today, but come tomorrow evening into Friday morning we're supposed to get another 6-9 inches.  If it goes over 5 inches it will be record snowfall for a winter in our area.  So, I say, why not go for it!!!  Then maybe it will be done?  I'm glad we're at least in the month of March, but March around here can mean anything so, we'll see!  Oh, well.  I know we're not alone in this so I hope this is finding all of you doing okay wherever you are and as the title of my post says......enjoying your home.

I've been writing list after list these days.  A new list for every new day and then re-writing it after checking a few things off.  Doesn't that feel good?  Working at something and scratching it off the list?  It keeps me motivated.  

I keep going through things as I'm finding that my tastes are changing as I get older and I'm finding that keeping a lot of stuff isn't for me anymore.  What I have in my home is what we truly love and what we truly use, and like everyone...some things are nostalgic. Everything is else is going away.  This also helps when it comes time for daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning.  Less stuff means more time saved.  We have a little house, so I can whip through my cleaning in no time at all and I like that, especially when I want to spend time on other interests.

I spent all morning in the kitchen yesterday.  It was a rare sunny morning and the kitchen window faces east so that beautiful sunshine was streaming in while I worked.  I put some soft jazz music on and just puttered.  This is something that I didn't even have planned so it was a pleasant surprise.  It started by looking at my menus and seeing what I had planned for supper.  The first thing I knew I was going through all my spices - in the spice rack and in the spice drawer - and throwing out old spices and rearranging the ones I had.  Then I went downstairs to the pantry and brought up the new spices to replace the old and then write down what I needed to buy on my next shopping trip.  While going through the spices I noticed that I didn't have many taco seasoning packets or pizza seasoning packets left so I got all those spices together on the counter and made those and they are now tucked in the drawer waiting for our next pizza or taco night.  I also noticed that I didn't have anymore homemade Hamburger Helper mixes left so I made a couple of those.  And, then, I noticed that I had kitted up a homemade donut mix a while back so I thought I'd better make those before the ingredients got too old.  Then to top it off, I ground some coffee beans and put them into an airtight jar so that they would just be ready in the morning to make coffee with.  It was just a wonderful morning and those are the little things that no one else will notice but me (and that's okay).   : )


Like always, I've been reading and this is my book to share this time around -

Not JUST this Nancy Drew book, but the whole series.

I know, I know, how juvenile, right?  No!  Not when you've never read them before.  Not if they're classics.  I'm collecting the whole series and there are a couple of people who know this so whenever they're out and about and see some, they call or text me to see if I want them.  : )  I have quite a few already, but I have a ways to go yet to have them all.  In my quest of getting rid of stuff, books are the one constant that I continue to bring in because I love books and I share books and I re-read books - so, of course I can justify that!  : )

They are a fun read and if you have older daughters or granddaughters, I would highly recommend that you introduce them to this classic.  They are, of course, mysteries.  But I think they are more than that.  They were written with good moral characters.  I love it when the author makes the point of saying that they went to church.  I always have to laugh at how much Nancy can do!  So far (what I've read anyway) she can tap dance, dance ballet, drive a beautiful car, flies an airplane, has the appropriate outfit for every occasion, scuba dives, pilots a boat, knows how to cook, can eat everything and never gains weight, has a mind that can solve every mystery............  It's just something light and fun to pick up.  

The cup is from a friend who moved away from this area years ago but we still try to stay in touch.  She sent this to me one Christmas.  The sentiment is true for me as well.  : )  In the cup is just regular black tea which paired nicely with this awesome dessert!  Recipe to follow.


Okay.  Hang on to your earrings, ladies.  Have I got a recipe for you!!!!!  We had friends over after church last Sunday and I made this for dessert.  We all took one bite and looked at each other.  It was a winner.  I KNOW you'll love it so I hope you try it and tell me what YOU think.  The only thing that I didn't realize is that I was treating it like a regular pie.  You know.  Cutting it into eight slices.  While eating, I was thinking that this is too rich to have this size of slice so I went and looked at the recipe and it says that it serves 12 to 16 people!!!!  So I made the slices WAY to big to eat at one sitting. is the recipe (which I got from


Crust:  either make your own Oreo crust out of 25 Oreos mixed with 5 Tbsp. of melted butter OR just buy (and always have on hand!) store-bought Oreo crusts.

*1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
*8 Tbsp. butter
*1 cup powdered sugar

*1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
*2 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
*1/2 cup heavy cream

For the filling, whip the peanut butter and butter in a large bowl until smooth and creamy.  Add powdered sugar and mix until combined.  Pour into Oreo crust and smooth out with a spatula.

For the Ganache, heat heavy cream on medium-low heat until just boiling being careful not to burn the cream.  Pour over chocolate chips and peanut butter in a separate bowl and allow to rest for 1 minute.  Whisk together until smooth and pour over the top of the peanut butter layer.  Smooth over and try to make a pretty design on the top with a spatula.

Refrigerate at least two hours or overnight.  To cut, heat a knife under hot water, dry with a paper towel and repeat when needed.

Enjoy!!!  Seriously.  You've GOT to try this.  : )  


As always, I need something to work on so after finishing my last cross stitch project, I just had to begin another.  This is what I have so far:

It's just in the early stages but I love stitching houses so I started with that first.  I've said this before, but I usually pick out a "Pinker n' Punkin" design that are free to print out and then I make it my own.  I put motifs in different areas and add motifs and/or words of my own to it.  I'm so surprised that that Aida 14-count fabric looks off-white because what I'm stitching this on is a light green called "SPA" from Zweigart.  When I'm finished I'll try to get the full effect of the pretty fabric as well.  I'm using DMC floss in numbers 221, Blanc white, 223, 3345, 370, 3371, 801, 938, and 782.  I'm really liking it and it's been a joy to work on.

Other than that, I'm really trying to get to other crafty things like wool applique and embroidery.  I have a skirt that I need to cut and sew for the spring/summer, and a prayer shawl to keep knitting.  I love to be able to have a lot of different things to pick up and work on as the mood strikes.


Here is another "fear" verse for you.

From 2 Chronicles 20:17 - "You will not have to fight this battle.  Take up your positions, stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you..........Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged.  Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you."

Again, this is encouraging.  The Lord fights our battles and we all have battles.  I know mine, what is yours?  Give it to the Lord to fight them for you!  We all need to be delivered from something.  I do, how about you?  To not be afraid takes courage and trust that the Lord will handle what you have going on - joblessness, illness, loneliness, depression, are not alone.  Please remember that.  Ask Jesus for the help you need.  He will be there.

Well, I think that's it for today!  Thank you SO much for dropping by because I appreciate all of you and love hearing from you.  I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week and weekend ahead.  God bless.  : )


Monday, February 20, 2023

Hunkering Down For A Huge Storm


It's quite possible that we will have a repeat of this in a couple of days.

Hello ladies!  As the title of the post says.....we're expecting quite the snowstorm this week.  At first it was going to be about a foot of snow but I just checked again and if this storm stays on track (which I'm hoping it doesn't) we could get up to 25 inches of snow by Friday.  For someone who is pretty much done with winter right now and especially the ice and snow, this isn't good news.  My poor husband.  He's the one with the snow blower and will probably remove snow for three of our neighbors as well.  The ONLY up-side to all of this is that it won't be frigid, but then with mild temps means the snow is going to be wet and heavy, so I'm not sure if I can see anything positive about it!!  LOL

I hope you all have been okay since I last posted.  I've been doing a bit of organizing - especially clothes and accessories.  I went through my shoes and put them in order.  I went through my wardrobe and found only one thing that doesn't fit and will be giving that away but then put my clothes in order going from jeans, to skirts, to jackets and sweaters, to blouses, and then lastly clothes that I only wear when I garden or do other messy work.  I then went to my scarves and belts and purses and organized those, noting that I need to replace my dark brown purse and then went on to clean out the purse I use all the time.  Lastly, I went through jewelry.  I'm not a big necklace person but I do love my earrings (and they have to be silver)!  So I sorted through them as well and tossed two pairs that looked pretty rough, again noting that I should replace at least one of those pair since they were a classic hoop.

I've been starting to shop for Spring/Summer clothes.  That part of my closet is pretty sparse probably because we tend to pull out the cold weather clothes in October and wear them until April, so I don't buy a lot for the warmer weather.  I found a couple of pretty tops but will have to go to the consignment store and see if I can find some skirts.  When the warm weather comes I like my skirts and dresses.  To say that I don't like clothes shopping is an understatement!!!!  I put it off until I can't anymore.

Well in hoping to stick with my new format, I will begin with a book that I finished a couple of weeks ago:


The Willows in Winter

The bread is Lemon Blueberry and the recipe will be below.  The pretty cup and saucer has a little story behind it.  When our son was little, his aunt and uncle were very thoughtful and took him shopping for occasions such as Father's Day, Mother's Day, birthdays, and Christmas.  We would give him a little money so that while they were out and he saw something he could buy it for us.  Well, ninety-nine percent of the time, aunt and uncle had to "add to" the amount we gave because he kept picking out items that were a little on the pricey side!  He, as a grown man, STILL has good taste.  LOL  So, this pretty cup and saucer was a Mother's Day gift from him when he was about 6 or 7.  And the tea I'm drinking is just plain old green tea because I think it pairs so well with the lemon bread.  : )

Now.....on to The Willows in Winter.  Have you read "The Wind in the Willows"?  Well this is a sequel to that written by William Horwood and illustrated by Patrick Benson.  I absolutely loved this book.  You would think that it's a children's book (and it can be) but I think adults would greatly enjoy this as well.  It was a book that I couldn't wait to get to after putting it down.  If you've read the Wind in the Willows you will know the characters by now - Mole, Badger, Otter, Rat, and the VERY naughty Toad.  Well, the character's are back.  Mole gets into trouble during a terrible snow storm and some of the others feel they need to risk their lives in search of him and all that encompasses.  Everyone thinks Toad has changed from his naughty self but proves that he has not and puts others in harm and gets into all sorts of trouble which he does get out of in the end.  You wouldn't think a book like this - one with animals as the main characters - would be exciting reading, but I thought it was.  It is a book about how far one would go to take care of a friend.  It is also a book about forgiveness no matter how frustrating, irritating, and exasperating a friend might be.  

If you were reading to a child (I would say middle school) there are lots of lessons to learn and things to talk about.  Only you, as a parent or grandparent, will know how much you want to talk about.  Towards the end of the book Toad drinks a little too much and acts silly and says silly things so some might not want to venture into that, but as an adult (even though I don't condone drinking to get drunk) I can read it and get through it and just know that's how the author wanted this certain chapter to go.  

I do understand that a lot of adults don't like reading these kinds of books, but if you do like a fanciful book that you will find very entertaining (and frustrating at times), I recommend it.  It was a fun read.


Lemon Blueberry Bread

This is very good.  It's a recipe from the "Taste of Home" archives and it's lemony and moist.  Quick to put together and enjoyed by all.  : )


1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup 2% milk
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
2 Tbsp. grated lemon zest


2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup powdered sugar

In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, lemon juice and eggs.  Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir into egg mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.  Fold in the blueberries and lemon zest.

Transfer to a greased 8 x 4-in loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

Combine glaze ingredients and drizzle over warm bread.  Cool completely.

YUMMY!  : )  Hope you give it a try.  I think this would be excellent in the Spring.  Maybe for an Easter gathering?


Mostly, I've been cross stitching.  I just so wanted to get my sampler done and I did!

From last time I added the borders, a couple more flower buds, and four birds on the bottom.  I'm very pleased with it and it was so fun to do.  I have several finished cross stitched pieces that need to be framed.  I think that's my next thing to learn how to do.  Framing is WAY to expensive at the stores so I need to learn!  I've already started another stitch-y piece and will show you the progress on my next post.

While snowed in this week, I'll see if I can get to some other things as well.  I have pulled out all my gardening books and notebook and want to read those and plan gardens while the snow rages on!  : )


This is another "fear" verse for you and it's one of my favorites.  It's from Deuteronomy 20:3 -

*"Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic.....For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you......."

Isn't that wonderful?!  I don't know about you, but I've experienced panic attacks and they are frightening.  Here we are told not to give way to it.  Not only that - the Lord God goes WITH us and fights for us.  There are times when I feel so totally alone in what I'm going through, what I'm thinking.  But it is amazing that the Lord God is right there and He fights the battles for us.  Wow.  Thank you, Lord, for your word, for your promises, for your help, for your care, for your love, for your protection!  

I hope this encourages you to hang in there and to call upon the name of Jesus when you are fearful.  He'll be right there with you.  God bless all of you this week and I hope to see you soon!!!!  


Wednesday, February 8, 2023

An Important Side to Homemaking

I'm thinking of warmer weather.  : )

Hello everyone!  Here we are in February already and today in Minnesota we are having a nice, melty, warm day (41 degrees).  I just came in from sitting out on the patio and drinking up the sunshine to help both my mood and my health!  

Today is the first post that will follow somewhat of a different format.  As I mentioned in my last post, I am thinking about giving book reviews, a recipe, a Bible verse and/or other helps, and craft information.  I really hope that you will enjoy this change.  It's a bit of an experiment so if you can let me know what you think as time goes by that would be wonderful.  : )

I have been thinking about this because when we think of homemaking it's the cooking, cleaning, organizing, baking, planning, etc.  But there is also another side to homemaking and that's the personal side to us all.  We are also known for what we are interested in and I think it's very important to have those other interests that are creative.  Reading expands our minds and vocabulary. Trying new things helps us when life gets to be a little discontented for whatever that reason is - inclement weather for days on end, not enough money to go anywhere, just the desire for something different.  It's part of who we are.  So I hope you can grab a cup of tea or coffee or favorite beverage and sit back and read my post and my hope is that it will encourage you in some way.


For my book review, it is a book that I had already shown you, but now have finished it a couple of weeks ago.  As with every good book, there's a bit of a sad feeling when I'm done.  Most of you have already heard of this book but if you haven't read it yet, I do recommend it.  

Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

The only other book that I've read by Elizabeth Gaskell is North and South (which I also recommend although it is a bit on the dark side - not evil but it does depict England during the industrial age where there is much poverty and suffering).  In Wives and Daughters you immediately get caught up in each character and as in many novels you find yourself liking some, and wanting to shake some others!  The young heroine, Molly Gibson, is sensitive, kind, well-learned, wise....and these are wonderful characteristics to have but are also characteristics that can allow people to take advantage of and they do.  Her father remarries (for all the wrong reasons) and in comes a step-mother who takes charge of everything (she's one of the characters that a good shaking comes to mind - LOL).  She has a daughter who comes to live with all of them and her character is one that feels as if she's on a constant roller coaster with all of her relationships but when you come to realize that she is the way she is is because of her mother pretty much abandons her at a very young age to pursue her own life you have a bit of empathy for her.  She has no sense of direction and it causes nothing but trouble.  You also get caught up with the small village townspeople and people of influence and it does make you realize that no matter how much influence you have you still suffer the things of life.  Death is the great equalizer - it comes to the poorest of the poor and it comes to the most wealthy and what makes the difference is in the knowing of where you are going after that.

So, again, I recommend it.  I felt it was a page-turner - hard to put down, easy to pick back up again!  : )  I have decided, however, that I will not watch the movie version.  Books are SO detailed that I feel a movie wouldn't pick up all the little things that are just as important as the big.  I like what I read and there was a constant "movie" going on in my own head as I was reading it, so I will leave it at that.  : )

A bit of a spoiler alert here - there isn't an ending to this novel.  Unfortunately, Elizabeth Gaskell died before she had time to finish it.  When I got to the end and read this, I was so surprised!  I don't think that has ever happened to me before when reading something.  At first it bothered me a bit, but the novel felt like it was coming to a close anyway so whoever reads it can make the ending be whatever they want it to be!  Of course, I married Molly off to who she secretly loved and he was beginning to feel that he was having feelings for her as well.  So there you go.  : ) It's lengthy, so it's perfect for the rest of winter or a good summer read.

The cup in the picture was given to me by a friend a long time ago and I drink my morning coffee in it every day.  This afternoon it has Lady Grey tea in it.  Hopefully from now on, I will have a bake on the side to go with the tea. I have rhubarb muffins in the freezer but I forgot to pull one out.  : )


The recipe that I wanted to share with you today has fast become a favorite go-to when we feel like Asian food.  Everyone who eats this loves it so I most definitely wanted to share it with you too.  As with most recipes that I print out, they sit for quite a while before I get around to trying them so I don't know who this recipe is from.  Thank you to whoever originally posted this a while ago - it's a winner!!!!  Here it is:


As with all Asian cooking, it is wise to have EVERYTHING ready to go beforehand because it all comes down to adding things to the skillet at a moment's notice - there is no time to stop and cut things up or measuring things out.  Anyway........

*1 Tbsp. vegetable oil (use a good quality oil)
*1 large onion, chopped
*1 red bell pepper, chopped
*1/2 head of broccoli, cut into florets
*1 lb. ground beef
*6 oz. ramen noodles (2 packets with the seasoning packets discarded - NOT good for you)
*Salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil.  Add onions, peppers, and broccoli and cook until tender, 5 minutes (I think it takes a bit longer).  Remove from the pan and set aside.  Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink, drain fat and then season the beef with a bit of salt and pepper.  Return the vegetables back to the skillet.

Make the sauce:  (I like a saucy dish so I double the amounts - it's your call)
*1/4 cup soy sauce
*1 Tbsp. brown sugar
*1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
*1 clove of garlic, minced

Whisk together the above ingredients and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, bring water (according to ramen noodle directions) to a boil and add the noodles and cook until tender (about 2 minutes or so).  Drain.  Add the noodles to the beef/vegetable mixture and then pour the sauce over all.  Toss so everything is completed combined.  

Plate up, sprinkle with a few chopped green onions and enjoy!  You really won't be disappointed with this one.  As a matter of fact, I have all the ingredients as of this writing and we're having our son over for lunch tomorrow...........sounds like Beef Ramen Noodles to me!  : )


I've been working on a few things, but the one craft that I'm especially focusing on is a new cross stitch piece that I'm designing as I go.  It is this so far - I have a ways to go on it and will show it again when I'm finished:

I really like how it's turning out.  If that line on the left side looks out of place, it's because I'm in the process of making a short decorative border and that's all I have so far.  This is being worked on a 14-count Aida in Ivory from Zweigart.  I'm using such beautiful DMC floss in muted colors - numbers 407, 224, 926, 356, 3740, 838, 221, 223, 680, 422, 372, 890, 370.


I use the "Ultimate Sampler Motifs Source Book" by Brenda Keyes for all the motifs you see.  Again, there are already a couple of mistakes on this piece (and I'm sure I'll probably have more!) but that's okay.  It's for me.  However, I do love the process of designing so if anyone out there knows how one goes about designing cross stitch patterns I'd sure love to hear about it!  : )  I also enjoy following a pattern that others have designed so I'll go back and forth with making up my own and stitching from others.  It's all fun to me!


Lastly, and most importantly, is a Bible verse.  You know, when I'm feeling certain emotions when going through difficulty, it always helps me to look up verses in the Bible that pertain to what I'm feeling at the time.  A couple of weeks ago, I was struggling with putting a label on what it was that I was exactly feeling and the Lord helped me to realize it was FEAR.  Fear is something that I've lived with all my life from a VERY young age.  And, seriously, the world we live in is bound and determined to keep us afraid of everything.  So it can be a bit overwhelming sometimes.

To help me with that, I took my concordance and looked up a lot of "fear verses" and wrote them down in a notebook so that I could go back again and again and re-read them for hope and encouragement and even to use them in my prayers.  It's a wonderful thing to pray the verses in the Bible specifically to what you need.  Everything in the Bible is truth.  The words written are God's promises to us and it's okay to pray accordingly.  So here is the first "fear" verse and I've been praying it a lot lately:

*From Genesis 15:1 - "Do not be afraid..........I am your shield, your very great reward."

I've underlined the "I am your shield" in my notebook and have been especially praying that part of the verse.  As we all know, a shield is protection from whatever is being thrown at us and God is saying that He is our Protector.  The Bible says that Satan throws fiery darts at us all the time so praying for God to be our Shield is totally what we need and what He will provide when we ask Him.

My hope is that you will write this verse down too if you are fearful today for any reason.  The one thing we cannot do is discount a person's fear.  We may think that someone is being silly for being afraid of what they are afraid of but I hope that we never tell them that they ARE being silly.  Those feelings are real to them (to us) and I can say from experience, that praying this verse has helped me and I hope it helps you as well.  It's also okay to say "Lord, do as you have spoken."  (2 Samuel 7:25)  God never goes back on His promises so give your fear to Him and see how He will help you.  : )

Well.......that's it!!!  I hope this was an enjoyable read for you all.  Again, I would love any feedback or ideas you may have.  I don't want you to get up from spending time with me and call it a "yawner"!!!!!  LOL

God bless you all and have a great rest of the week and upcoming weekend ahead.  


Saturday, January 28, 2023

A Bit of a Change


Beauty.  : )

Hello!  I just wanted to drop in to say that I've been thinking of something different for my blogposts in the weeks and months ahead.  I am still a homemaker, but I feel like I don't have a lot to offer in that area only because we are all homemakers and all homemakers do things differently in their homes.  We all clean the same rooms of a house but we may all go about it differently.  We have all felt the need this month to roll our sleeves up and go through our stuff and organize and pare down a bit and even in that I think we tend to go at it in our different ways.  So, other than the occasional tip now and then (which I think you've probably heard about already so it's not a huge revelation), I think I've gone as far as I can go in that.

So, this is what I've been thinking about.  I've titled my blog Homemaker's Thoughts and the bit of a change I'm thinking of will still fit in with that.  There are a lot of things that I think about whilst going about my day.  I have interests that I want to share a bit more thoroughly rather than randomly.  I don't exactly want a rigid format to follow because that takes the fun out of it, but I do think I've narrowed it down to these topics:

1.  Book reviews.  I try very hard to always have a book to read.  My need to read is strong and I don't belong to a book club (although I would love to start one) so I would like to let you know what I'm reading and give my thoughts on it.  Letting you know if I thought it was worth the read and maybe give you the motivation to check it out (or not) as well.

2.  Recipes.  And this one surprises me because I'm not a fantastic cook and I admit that I don't really enjoy cooking but I do like to try recipes and if they are good I get kind of excited about it and want to share them.  I always appreciate menu ideas from others so maybe I can share those as well.

3.  Bible verses/helps.  There is no more important book than the Bible.  It is God's word to us.  And if I can give you some verses that have been of help to me, I want to let you know too.  

4.  Craft information.  As you know, I love my crafting time.  I'm interested in a lot of different things and want to share this with you as well.  I know that I'm motivated when others share what they are working on but I also appreciate it when they tell you more about it - the type of fabric, the colors they are using, where they got the pattern, etc.  So, I want to do that for you too.

At this point, these four topics are what I'm going to focus on and see how well it goes.  I'm not a very fast reader, so depending on the size of the book I may not be as regular with that.  As far as recipes, since I feel like this is kind of a "starting new" don't be surprised if I've posted some of those recipes before but hopefully will give you new ones.  And, of course, I need to cook our family's old standbys so I can't try new recipes all the time!  I know you get what I'm saying.  With this new idea it will be kind of an experiment for a while until I can get into a rhythm and see what works and what doesn't so I hope you will stick with me until I figure it out!  

That's it for today - just wanted to let you know what's coming.  Hope this is finding you well.  See you soon!!!

God bless.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

January Is For Diving In


Pretty.  : )

From other bloggers that I read, it seems like we all have one thing in common......once January comes, we dive in and get things done.  There is something about January that gets us moving.  We want to organize and get rid of things.  We want to try new things with cooking.  We want to clean.  We want to plan.

For me, along with all of the above things, I use January to dive into my crafting and sewing.  I use January as an excuse to get into bed early with a good book and read until I fall asleep.  It's a busy month but can also be a creative and restful month.  The way the months fly by, it will be Spring before we know it and then there will be the outdoor work that needs to be done and we'll wish we had a few more January days!

I have mentioned in past posts that when I do my purging and organizing, I begin at our front door and work around the room and then go on to the next room.  Going through closets and drawers, cabinets and cupboards until the time that I feel that what I have kept is what I'm going to use and/or love.  Yesterday I found only a couple of things in a dresser by the front door but a couple of things out of that dresser is great!  Now............not bringing anything back in is the challenge.  Not that I go out and shop all the time, but I feel I need to be even better about being mindful of what we really need rather than just getting something because it's a good deal.

Some of the things that I've been doing:

1.  Filling out blank monthly calendar pages to use as daily, weekly, and monthly reminders of what I need to do.  

2.  Writing down all the crafty/sewing projects that I want to work on and putting them into a jar to pick from every day and try to work on.  I have so many interests that I don't get to.  Once I'm working on a certain project I just keep on with that and then I look at all the other things that I'm not getting to and feel a bit anxious about it.  It's really working well and if I just can't work on what I pulled from the jar that day I leave until the next day or until there is time.  And then when I've worked on that particular thing, the piece of paper with that idea goes into another jar which means I've worked on it and it will go back into circulation again.  It has worked well so far and I feel like I'm getting to all my interests instead of having them just sit.

The projects that I wrote down are:  rag quilts, candle-making, soap-making, yo-yo's, grandmother octagon quilt blocks, making embellishments for cards, making cards, sewing clothes, knitting prayer shawls, crocheting quilt blocks, felt applique, and embroidery.  And then every evening I work on cross stitch no matter what.

Here are a few examples:

Lavender and oatmeal goat's milk soap.

Wool applique.


Cross stitch.

Making things brings such joy and contentment.  To see things come together is so fun.

I've also been printing out recipes that I want to try.  I'm pretty much cooking the same things that I've already shared with you, but when I begin to try those new things, I'll let you know!  When I was going through my huge notebook that holds all my recipes, I can't believe that I still look for more, but I get tired very quickly of making the same things so I can't wait to start on the new.

I'm also planning.  I got my first seed catalog in the mail and I'm trying to think back on what worked and what didn't in our garden(s) - both flowers and food.  I find myself watching P. Allen Smith on YouTube for all kinds of advice and write down any notes that pertains to us.  I have lots of ideas!  With 15 inches of snow on the ground, it's hard to imagine green grass and fertile soil right now.  LOL

I'm going through my books and magazines to find "recipes" for homemade health and beauty products.  The more I find out about what's going into things that we use on a daily basis, the more I want to make those products myself.  Even with the soap that I made (above) I found out that the soap base I used has the very thing that I'm trying to eliminate!  I really felt bad about that.  So I will just use those for scenting drawers and closets with.  Now I'm on the lookout for an organic soap base and start all over again.  That's's how we learn.  : )

My husband and I didn't give gifts for Christmas this year.  Instead, we splurged and bought a treadmill.  The winter is way too long not to walk and we've really been liking it.  So that's another thing I have on my mind this month - ways to maintain our health through exercise, supplements, and good food.

The book that I've been reading lately is:

SO good.  I try to read after lunch and this is what I curl up with at night.  I received it for Christmas and I'm really enjoying it.  When I put it down (as with all good literature) I'm amazed at how God gave certain authors the gift of writing.  I'm amazed at that.

Well, I think that's about all I had to share with you.  Not much, but it's been a while since I posted so I wanted to do something.  Today is a day of, once again, keeping up with going through things.  I have to clean the oven, make beef stew, and work on one of those crafty projects (hmmmm........I wonder which one I'll pull out of the jar today?).  : )

God bless you all.  Thanks so much for stopping by.  I wish you well and I hope you have a good weekend ahead.


Thursday, January 5, 2023

A Winter Wonderland


Pretty, isn't it?  I know I have to be careful to whom I say that because, for most people, it's a LOT of work to remove it!  The first day of the storm was fun.  By the third day......not so much. LOL

Hello!  I just wanted to pop in to say "hi" and to wish you a somewhat belated "Happy New Year".  I hope this is finding you doing okay and that you had a blessed Christmas.  I know for some, this was a difficult holiday season due to loss, illness, finances, etc., so please let me say that I know what that feels like and my heart goes out to you.  2022 was a difficult year for me as well and when another new year came around I felt somewhat pessimistic - I mean, with the turning of a calendar page it doesn't automatically mean that we'll be healed, or that we'll come into a lot of money, or our grieving stops.  No, we carry it into the new year. knowing this, I have a better feeling about this year than I've had for quite a while.  In this past difficult year, my personal relationship with Jesus has grown.  The Bible has been my hope and encouragement and I've learned so many lessons from it.  I've read through the Bible many times but this past year I REALLY read it.  I took a lot of notes and prayed over it.  There were a lot of "aha" moments that I never noticed before.  I'm VERY grateful and thankful for that!

I prayed for a lot of people and circumstances this past year. Not all of my prayers were answered the way I would have hoped, but He answered according to what He wanted and though I sometimes don't understand that as well as I would like to, it's where my faith is.  Trusting Him in and through it all  - knowing that one day all of our questions will be answered and we will see for ourselves how He "worked all things together for good".  Yes, I still ask Him how certain things that happen can be for our good when all I see is the NOT good.  And, he's okay with our questions while all the time remembering that He is God and there is to be reverence in that.  We need to know (remember) to whom we are speaking. 

So, as we are almost finished with the first week of January, we can still hope and pray for our friends and family and country and world in this year 2023.  Let's not give up on that.  Let's keep encouraging each other to stay on our knees. I heard someone say that people still aren't praying with fervency because we aren't desperate enough yet.  Well, my goodness, to that I say how much worse do you want it to get?!  Pray for eyes and hearts to be open to the Gospel and for many to come to faith in Christ.  Jesus specifically says in the Bible that no one comes to the Father EXCEPT through Him.  So let's do this and wait in expectation for the deliverance God will bring us!!!  

I was thinking about all the people who are suddenly dying "unexpectedly" and how that should make all of us stop and think about our mortality and where we will go if we suddenly die.  Are we ready to meet Jesus and live forever with him?  Or, are we going to be forever without Him?  Or, let's say we still have time left on this earth, what will happen when Jesus comes back to earth to take us to Heaven?  Will He take us with Him, or will we be left behind in the crazy world we live in(which will only get worse)?  Time is ticking away and we need to start asking these questions.  When it's done, it's done and that's it.  Please take it seriously because it is.  The Bible says that "today is the day of salvation" - don't put it off.

Hope to see you soon for more posts!  God bless.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Dropping In For A Moment


Like a vast majority of us, we are in the deep freeze!  Jack Frost has been working overtime.  : )

I just wanted to drop by quickly and wish all of you a Merry Christmas!  Even with all the crazy stuff going on in the world and the sadness we can feel at this time of year, we can be joyful in knowing that Jesus is still on His throne in Heaven and He loves us.  He was willing to come to earth and take on human flesh as a baby, and then die for our sins. He was raised to life again and is now sitting at the right hand of God the Father waiting for the time when the Father will tell him to come back and take us (those who believe) from this crazy world to be with him forever.  If nothing else this weekend, I pray that you will remember that and that it will give you peace and comfort.  One day, the craziness and evil that we now experience will be gone and Jesus will rule and reign over the earth for those who believe in Him.  THAT is good news of great JOY!  : )

Since tomorrow is the first day of Christmas, I wanted to give you 12 ideas (for the 12 days of Christmas) that maybe you can incorporate into your family/friends (or do them on your own!) get-togethers.  I think we all feel like it's Christmas Eve and Day and then it's over, but I love doing the 12 days of Christmas to spread things out and enjoy this time further.

*Do a "chill-out" day - sleep in late, grab your favorite hot beverage, read a book, take a nap.........

*Have a special meal out - with all the cooking and baking and cleaning and........sitting down at a favorite restaurant can be a treat

*Have a fire night - of course not when it's 20 below, but if it's at least freezing temps or above, it can be fun to bundle up and get that fire going!  Roast marshmallows, sip a hot beverage.........

*Go skating or sledding - again, the temperatures have to moderate a bit for this, but take the kids and do this.  If you don't have kids, borrow some!!!  LOL

*Movie night - is there a Christmas movie you forgot to watch or didn't have time to watch?  Do it now.

*Game night - gather some family/friends and play games.  It gets us out of the post-Christmas blues we kind of find ourselves in.

*Hobby day - pull out the painting, the sewing, the stitching, the woodworking, the puzzles......anything that provides joy and do it!  The whole day!

*Leftovers night - take all those leftovers and make a buffet out of them.  Reheat, or make over into something entirely different.  Maybe invite others to bring THEIR leftovers and have a feast!

*Giving to others - go through your pantry and to give to the food shelf.  Remove snow for a neighbor.  Write a check to a favorite charity.  Thinking of others when sad, lonely, depressed can help tremendously.

*Plan for the New Year ahead - I'm not one to make resolutions, but I do love to plan.  Planning those gardens for the Spring/Summer, planning on ways to be more frugal, planning meals and going through cookbooks for new ideas and inspiration, filling out the new calendars, planning any getaways.  All of these are so inspiring and can actually help to make us look forward to things

*Start something new.  Is there anything that you have an interest in but haven't jumped in to do it?  Think of what that might be.  Learn a new hobby?  A new language?

*Have a "quiet time" day - I know this is very hard for some people, but unplugging from the news, the tv, the computer, the phone.....if only for a day!  Spend some time in God's word.  Meditate on it.  Write things down as they come to you.  Begin a daily devotional and journal.

I hope these ideas will inspire and motivate and get you to feel like Christmas is not a "one and done" holiday!!!!  Have fun with this.  Do everything listed or take just a couple that sounds like something you would want to do.  

Again.......I wish you all a VERY Merry Christmas!  God loves you so much.  : )


Sunday, December 18, 2022

Sunday Evening - A Devotion to Begin the Christmas Week


Hello!  I hope this finds all of you doing okay, taking a deep breath, and anticipating your preparations for Christmas.  Personally, preparing my heart for it all is of utmost importance.  I have been thoroughly enjoying my early mornings, in the dark (except for the lights of the tree and a small lamp so I can read) and spending time with the Lord.  Reading the Bible, thanking Him, and praying for others and our little family brings me tidings of great joy!  Even though some of the things that I'm praying are very difficult, I've learned to sit at the feet of God and pour them out.  God Immanuel - knowing that He is in the very room I'm sitting in.  Knowing that He is hearing me and listening brings this weary soul a hope that I cannot find anywhere else. 

This devotion is from the same book that I wrote from last Monday, so I hope it will encourage you and give you something to think about as we begin another week.

"In the monastery Martin Luther had come to the end of himself.  He had despaired of salvation by his own hand.  But by the grace of God he did not give up his longing and his hope.  He directed his attention to the one place he hoped to find help - the Bible.  God prepared Luther to see the true meaning of Christ and accept it, by stirring up a deep and powerful longing in his heart for consolation and redemption that could come only from Christ.  And this is what God does again and again.  He may be doing it for you in this Advent season - graciously and tenderly frustrating you with life that is not centered on Christ and filling you with longings and desires that can't find their satisfaction in what this world offers, but only in the God-man.  What a Christmas gift that might be!  Let all your frustrations with this world throw you onto the Word of God.  It will become sweet - like walking into paradise."

One thing that has been helping me tremendously is listening to music.  Christ-centered music.  If you have not yet seen the Parkside Church Christmas concert, I highly recommend it.  Just go on-line and you'll find it and you will not be disappointed.  I think I've watched it 3 or 4 times already.  Some of the songs they sing makes me cry and I've said this before.........crying is okay!  If something touches your heart, it sometimes comes out in tears.  Tears cleanse and the Holy Spirit uses that to soften us.  I hope you can experience that softening this week when it can be a tiring, expensive, and frustrating week.  May you find a calm and "peace that surpasses all understanding".  

God bless. 


Friday, December 16, 2022

A Few Gift Giving Ideas


A little beauty.  : )

I know that I always appreciate it when someone tells me about gift-giving ideas, so I thought I would share a few with you.  I wouldn't doubt that I have shared these already in past Christmas posts, but I'll post them again!!!

These are gifts that are quick and easy to put together and most of them are food related.  And please know that it's okay to use store-bought food - it doesn't always have to be homemade.  This is also a good way to use things from your pantry (a very good reason to have a pantry is to be able to share!)

Here's what I have for you:

*Gift Basket #1 - Jarred pasta sauce, box of pasta, bottle of sparkling cider, a quick-bread mix, and some dark chocolate

*Gift Basket #2 - Taco shells (hard shells), seasoning packet, jarred salsa, jarred sauce, bag of tortilla chips, fun soda, tin of cookies

*Gift Basket #3 - Bag of coffee, dry coffee creamer, sugar packets, tin of cookies

*Gift Basket #4 - Box of teas, jarred honey, a pretty spoon, tin of cookies

*Gift Basket #5 - Jar of hot cocoa mix, bag of marshmallows, candy canes

*Gift Basket #6 - Box of pancake mix, jar of syrup, jar of preserves, bag of coffee or box of teas

*Gift Basket #7 - Bag of unpopped popcorn, box of raisins, jar of peanuts, package of dried fruit, fun soda

*Gift Basket #8 - Bag of flour, bag of sugar, box of baking powder and soda, vanilla extract along with a favorite recipe and then add any extras like chocolate chips, raisins, molasses, etc........

*Gift Basket #9 - Nice dish soap, pretty dish rag and towel, sponges, scrubber, hand lotion

And then these are Mason jar gifts - very easy, but fun to receive!  In a quart jar add:

*Chex mix

*Pancake/Waffle mix

*Brownie mix

*Homemade Hamburger Helper

*Spiced Nuts

*Variety of teas


*Chocolate covered pretzels

*Cookie mix

*Cocoa mix

*Spiced Tea mix

*Layers of cookies

*Homemade candy

*Craft items - small scissors, thread, needles, floss, etc..........

*Unpopped popcorn

*The ideas are many!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For the mixes that need a recipe, be sure to include the recipe and directions!

There.  That's all I have.  Now that we are definitely in the countdown to Christmas, these kinds of gifts really come in handy.  Have fun with them and show your creativity and love for each gift you make.

God bless!!!!!!!


Monday, December 12, 2022

Monday Evening - A Christmas Devotion


From our house to yours.  : )

What I am about to give you is one of the daily devotions for Advent.  It's something I needed to hear and wanted to share it with you as well.  I'm sorry that I don't know who wrote it.  It was originally a book that I tore pages from years ago and put into individual envelopes to open up daily (one for each day of December).  Here it goes:

"Christ came to prove that God tells the truth, that God keeps his promises.  Christmas means that God can be trusted.  This is part of the blessing that he brings - and that he offers you in this Advent season.  It is a blessing because where it is forsaken, moral and spiritual life disintegrates.  The foundation of moral life is God's truthfulness.  A society that forsakes the centrality of the absolute truthfulness of God forsakes the foundation of truth, the foundation of morality, and the foundation of beauty.  Christmas is the reassertion of the foundation of all truth and goodness and beauty, because Christmas means:  God is truthful.  God's truthfulness is the constant in a universe of flux.  God's truthfulness is the unwavering absolute.  If we forsake God's truthfulness, the anchor is up, the rudder is loose, the keel is broken, and the ship of life (political life, social life, educational life, scientific life, family life) is simply at the mercy of the wind of human wishes.  So I say it with all my heart: demonstrating the truthfulness of God is a great blessing.  Give that blessing to your children.  Say to the next generation time and time again:  God is truthful; God keeps his word; God does not lie; God can be trusted!  That's one blessing of Advent.  Receive it as a wonderful Christmas gift, and give it to as many people as you can."

I don't know about you, but like I said, I needed to read this.  In a world where truth is whatever you want it to be, we have God who is absolute truth and anything that goes against what he says is a lie and we are to flee from it.  Let this sink into your soul.  Let this calm you down.  Let this lift your spirits.  Let this motivate you.  This frees us!  We can be courageous and bold for Jesus and that helps this Christmas season to become personal not commercial.  Jesus was with God in the beginning and he will come back in the end.  All of a sudden we don't look inward and wonder if we're good enough when we feel we don't measure up.  All of a sudden we don't look around us and become fearful of circumstances that seem out of control.  All of a sudden we can look up and KNOW that God is faithful, God is truthful, God can be trusted, and God is with us every moment of the day.  What a comfort.  What a joy.  Our weary world truly can rejoice in this.